Thursday, February 3, 2011

Painting Peace

     The painting “Last Supper” by Da-Vinci is a large piece of artwork, finished in 1498 A.D, portraying Jesus and His disciples having the first communion. Da-Vinci seemed to capture the scene a moment after Jesus has revealed that one of His disciples is going to betray Him – the horror written on their faces clearly portrayed what the disciples must have felt like. The way the figures are gesturing, talking, and their positions in the painting gives one a sense of rampant outrage and confusion.  Jesus calmly sits in the center of all the anger and confusion, a steady pillar as the rest of the house is “crumbling” around him.
     The fact that I have just mentioned, (the disciples actually had horror on their faces) might be one of the
reasons Da-Vinci’s picture became so popular. (Huh?) :D)  Let me explain. Obviously, many copies of this
work of art have been made – the original is on a wall in Milan, Italy. If the picture wasn’t popular,
obviously, there wouldn’t be so many copies of it. This painting is incredibly easy to find – you might see
it on mouse pads, musical pillows, clocks, the internet, etc. The Last Supper had been painted before,
but some say the difference between Da-Vinci’s painting and those prior to his was that He painted the characters (if you will) to
have realistic expressions/ reactions to the news they had apparently just heard.
     Nowadays, there are definitely more realistic pictures and paintings, so just because Da-Vinci painted
more realistic people in “Last Supper” than the artists before Him, doesn’t make the painting incredibly
attractive to us. In this day and age, I’m not sure exactly what makes this painting so revered. Perhaps
because it was created so long ago by a master of art, maybe because of the significant moment the
scene was captured in, maybe because of the “calm in the middle of the storm” that might demonstrate
the deep, inward peace we can have in Jesus if we walk with Him.
     I don’t particularly care for this picture, to be honest, except for the last possible reason I mentioned.
People need the peace Jesus brings, I need the peace that Jesus brings. Life is hard, life is meaningless
without the Lord. Trying to get through life on my own – with no Savior – would be a fearful,
meaningless, thing. There couldn’t be real enjoyment in life with the question of “what happens
to me when I die?” unanswered – or at least, not answered in a positive way. Trying to figure out my
life’s course instead of trusting God to see me safely through would be a nerve racking ordeal. Living for
only myself would have no ultimate purpose other than to just  “please myself, make money and,
perhaps, try to lead a long life.”
    Without the peace that Jesus brings, our homes, businesses, and lives would be in derision, full of a  
Fear that is like a deep, burning wound in our world today. Look into the eyes around you. Can’t you see
the unrest? People try to fill this wound with many things, drinking, pleasure, immorality of many
kinds - but it doesn’t work. Nothing will heal that dark, burning fear but God. Only He has the right salve
to heal this wound, only He can calm the raging questions. Only His peace is lasting.
    As Christians, God’s children and servants, we should be careful of what our lives portray to others.
We should be the “candle bearers” that run through the darkness, illuminating the truth to those who
Are so restless and fearful, trying to calm themselves, not knowing that only Jesus can give them
 the ultimate peace. We should keep our lamps trimmed and burning, filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit
that we may be written epistles read of all men, lighting the way to true peace.
     Back to the painting: Leonardo Da-Vinci was a trier of new things. When painting this picture for the
Duke of Milan, Da-Vinci decided to try something new and painted over dry plaster instead of wet. His
goal was to use a more varied palette – and using dry plaster would let him do that. However, because
of using dry plaster, the finished product has been flaking apart virtually, ever since he finished it – and ever since
he finished it, people have been looking for a way to preserve it.
      Da-Vinci’s painting will , most likely, flake apart altogether someday. A bird might use pieces of it to
build a nest, or maybe the pieces will be put into a museum or some sort – who knows?
What we do know, is that God’s peace will never pass away. After Da-Vinci’s painting has been lost, God
will still be a strong pillar when the rest of the house might crumble around Him. His part of the roof will
still be intact, and that, my Christian Friends, is the part we are standing on.

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