Sunday, January 31, 2016

Crucifixion Underdrawing

The Crucifixion has always been listed as one of God's most loving actions towards us. Most of us think it's because He took our sins upon ourselves and offered them to the Father as a pure victim, which is partially true. However, the truth is a bit more complicated than that. When one loves someone they wish to become like the beloved; identification is a part of love. God loves us perfectly, there is nothing that in us that He can't love. That means that, in His desire to love us, God desired to become like us in our fallen nature.

Think about that for just a moment: God loves us, therefore He wants to become identified with us. He wants to be like us. So He came down, allowed Himself to be unjustly accused, mocked, stripped, beaten, drag His own instrument of death up a hill while being jeered at with His loved ones either watchinhg helplessly or running for the hills, be publicly humiliated, and slowly suffocate to death.

That is God's definition of the human condition. Let that sink in.

One of the things that is so horrible about crucifixion is the fact that the victim is naked. While you are slowly suffocating under the weight of your own body you are completely exposed to the elements and cruelness of humanity. Your body is jeered at as you struggle to stay alive, knowing that you're going to die from either the humiliation taking away your will to live or from getting tired. Nakedness is actually a crucial part of the experience.

That's why Christ is nude in this Crucifixion underdrawing. It is a total identification with you, the viewer: He too is exposed, humiliated, and dying a slow and torturous death from a lack of air and love. There is a part of our souls that's always on a cross. Naked, confused, alone, and in unimaginable pain, this part of our soul begs for one thing, just one thing: to be seen. We hide this part of ourselves so well we don't realize that it's suffocating and cold, exposed to everything negative inside us while we dine within, like the rich man and Lazarus. But the mystery of the Cross is that Christ doesn't want the rich man, He wants Lazarus. But we crucified Lazarus, and left him outside so we could dine on the richness of others' praises and the indulgence of our desires. Lazarus can't feed on any of these things, and so he hangs upon our cross, defeated and alone.

It is for Lazarus that Jesus has come.

Knowing that we all desire to be renewed, Christ did the only thing a lover can do for the beloved: He became like them. He shares our burden, climbing upon the cross and exposing Himself in the most humiliating way possible so that we may finally be whole. Because, since He became like us, we can now become like Him and finally come down off the cross. We can now redeem that rich fool that rules our lives and is unaware of the great danger he puts the whole of his personhood in for ignoring his Lazarus.

But first we must let the rich man be stripped of all the filthy riches of gluttony, lust, and vainglory that stick to his hidden sores and, finding Christ is just like us, convince the rich man to ascend the cross and die along with Christ. The rich man must become Lazarus in order to be saved, and Christ is the prime example of what we must allow ourselves to become for the good of our souls. We must let ourselves admit that we are naked, abandoned, and dying. Nothing of our filthy blood-soaked riches and finery can remain. Not a single stitch of ill-gotten clothing can be left. We must become like Christ.

That is why Christ is naked.

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