I wonder, did you see the story in the news recently about the elderly woman in Spain who decided to "freshen up" an old mural in her local church in the city of Borja? The photos show the before and after views of the Ecce Homo mural (translation, "Behold the Man").
The original artist painted the small mural on the church wall to capture the time that a beaten and scourged Jesus was before Pilate in judgment. To be fair, the artwork was already in need of some restoration but the old lady's efforts have been described as a "wreck-storation" and her finished work as "a botched job" and "a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic".
It got me thinking, well 3 things anyway…
1. We all make mistakes.
Even during our mature years, we can still make some howlers. And we don't need to go to a Spanish church to witness these.
2. No one knows what Jesus actually looked like.
Scripture says that Jesus had a visually unremarkable appearance - so unlike today's celebrities…
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. (Isaiah 53:2)
In this image obsessed world where 'image is everything', Jesus' face probably just wouldn't fit today. Even secular lyricists question if we would notice Him if He were amongst us - "what if God was one of us" by Joan Osborne springs to mind.
3. Jesus cannot be improved upon!
That old lady was just trying to improve the artist's view of Jesus which had been faded by time. The Bible says this about Jesus…
For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; (Col 2:8-9, emphasis mine)
This is the same Jesus who allowed Himself to be punched and spat on and scourged and nailed naked to a Roman cross. Hardly recognisable as a human being, He hung in agony on that cross for some 6 hours. Ecce Homo… Behold the Man!
That same Jesus is now at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven. His supreme sacrifice for our sins was accepted and we now have access to God the Father. This access is available to all those who repent and humbly accept this free gift of salvation. And if you don't know this for yourself, please click on the link at the bottom of the page.
Jesus cannot be improved upon but we certainly can! Even if we know Jesus as our personal Saviour, I would suggest that we all are "wreck-storations". Let's be honest, we are all still very much a 'work in progress'. I will end this month with an illustration I always liked about us being an unfinished work…
One of the greatest American sculptors was Gutzon Borglum who died in 1941. It was he who made the great carvings of the heads of some presidents of the USA, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt on Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. At one time he worked for many months on a six-tonne block of marble. A woman who cleaned his studio every day wondered what that great block was for. Finally, after much toil and labour the features began to emerge from the marble; when the cleaning lady saw them she exclaimed, "How did Mr Borglum know that Abraham Lincoln was in that stone?"
Oh, how did the Lord know that Jesus Christ could be seen in you and me, rough blocks that we are? He did! That block of marble would still be only a block, were it not for the fact that Gutzon Borglum's mind, heart, chisel and artisanship had worked upon it to form that amazing head of Lincoln which is now housed in the Capitol in Washington.
"Lord, keep chiselling on me until someone recognizes that Christ Jesus lives in me."
Until next month then (DV)…
(All Bible quotations are from the NASB)
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