The Agony of Grace

20 03 2008

Giovanni Antonio Bazzi’s high renaissance painting “Procession to Calvary” was created over 500 years before Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion”; however, each are masterpieces in their abilities to capture the torment of Christ.  Bazzi, also known as II Sodoma, masterfully reflects the majesty, although willingly lowered, of Christ here.  He is a strong and muscular figure with the light of glory reflected throughout His being.  Here is God.  He is bowed but is there any doubt that it is by His choice? 

We are in the painting as well.  Bazzi portrays our ability to be both kind and cruel but in both sinful.  On one side of the painting are those with clinched fists, angry expressions, and aggressive stances.  On the opposite side there are those with open palms and saddened faces, but they do nothing.  We do see Simon from Cyrene appearing to grasp the cross as he begins to take it for our Lord.  But we know that even he  did not do so willingly.  No one was without fault.  No matter if their sin was intentional of passive, it was all sin and how horrible sin must be to have brought God’s Son here and place that look of agony upon his face.

The process of separation has begun and it is this truth which Bazzi captures so clearly.  This strong muscular figure, this one with the glow of glory so clearly communicating His divinity has the face of agony.  The agony we see here is not from nails, nor blood, nor humiliation.  The agony is from the separation which has begun.  John Calvin tells us that Christ “paid a greater and more excellent price in suffering in His soul the more terrible torments of a condemned and forsaken man.”  In the face of the Son of God we see a soul experiencing a pain we can never fathom.

God came.  God kneeled Himself willingly.  God allowed Himself to experience the pain we see here in this tormented face and it was all just beginning.  The agony you see is the look of grace in the face of our Lord and there is nothing cheap about it.  How He must love us. 

Amazed by His Grace,

Darian

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6 responses

21 03 2008
~keith

Amen! Yes, How He must love us! This week we are studying financial debt and this years Christmas card said it best for me. “He came to pay a debt He didn’t owe because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay”

Luke 1:49 (NIV) says “The Mighty One has done great things for me-holy is His name”

22 03 2008
dpcpastor

Thank you Keith,
I can not wait to hear you guys sing on Easter!

22 03 2008
Luke Bobo

well done, my friend!

22 03 2008
dpcpastor

It is so kind of you to say that Luke. Your visist and blog inspired me to begin “An Uncommon Grace” and it has been such a blessing fo rme to have an outlet to write and create. Thank you!

22 03 2008
singlegirlsearching

This reminds me of the Newsboys song “You Are My King” (Amazing Love).

I’m forgiven because you were forsaken
I’m accepted, you were condemned
I’m alive and well, Your Spirit is within me
Because you died and rose again

Amazing love, how can it be
That You, my King, should die for me?
Amazing love, I know it’s true
It’s my joy to honor you
In all I do, to honor you
###

It is His grace & love we cannot comprehend and struggle to accept.

22 03 2008
dpcpastor

What beutiful lyrics! We sing it often in our “Inside Out worship” services on sunday evenings. His love is truly amazing!

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