Any worshiper of the Lord Jesus Christ may call Him dear. And He most certainly is the One most worthy of our devotion, having loved us more than we can fathom and paid the dearest price possible to destroy the power of death and hell and buy us back from ourselves.
Sure, the life of faith is not all about emotion. At the same time, emotions of devotion certainly have their place. Jesus displayed plenty of emotion during His earthly ministry, as He interacted with His followers, friends, and essentially everyone He faced.
The New Testament is filled with examples of Jesus’ caring and compassion, His wisdom and winsomeness, His anger and affection, His heart and His humor. Maybe that’s why I love this painting.
“Head of Christ,” by Italian Renaissance Parma painter Antonio Allegri da Correggio (1489-1534), remarkably captures a mix of feelings. The expression seems to blend sorrow, tender concern, and perhaps a certain amount of disappointment. Without a doubt, the humanity of God-made-flesh can be clearly seen.
Wearing the brutal crown of thorns, mockingly jammed onto His head by His Roman captors (see Matthew 27, Mark 15, and John 19.), Jesus silently surveys the scene, which the painting’s viewer can only picture. Instead of responding with anger or calling down immediate Heavenly retribution and rescue, He holds His peace. Perhaps He is praying to the Father for those who oppress Him, as He did later on the cross.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
(Luke 23:34a, NIV)
(Luke 23:34a, NIV)
Finally, the face Antonio Allegri da Correggio offered in “Head of Christ” looks at viewers with an uncanny love that exceeds circumstances, predicaments, misfortune, or abuse. His love endures.
What a painting. And what a Savior, dearest of all.
Head of Christ
by Antonio da Correggio
The Scripture memory tips series is ongoing, but the April A to Z Blogging Challenge has started, and Heart of a Ready Writer is participating again this year. Watch for the Bible memory series posts, which may be interspersed with the Pictures of Jesus series during the month of April.
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