By Andrew Weygandt
I did this drawing a few years ago when I was living in Chicago. Yes, it was originally drawn on a table at Macaroni Grill using the kiddie crayons they give you. I guess I was in an interesting mood that night, because it’s not the type of art you normally want on your dinner table. I later copied it using pens, and that is how the picture below came about.
I’ve loved the image ever since. It is both gruesome and celebratory. It is bloody and beautiful. It contains both death and life. How is it that something so violent and ugly can become beautiful? Have you ever thought about why we wear the cross around our necks? It’s a pretty interesting concept. Who knew the ancient Roman form of punishment, death, and torture would become so ubiquitous years later in our jewelry?
This blog asks me, “What moves you?” My answer is one word: “Redemption.” Yes, redemption is what I see in this drawing. Redemption is what I see in the cross. Out of Jesus’ death comes life. Out of his suffering comes our blessing. Ashes are traded for beauty. Almost all of my favorite art pieces echo this idea, because art is essentially redemptive. Art makes ugly things beautiful.
Lent and Easter are all about Jesus’ own artwork, his life. Jesus’ death was on what we call “Good Friday.” What kind of a savior dies, and when is death ever good? Our redemptive savior dies, because His death leads to life. Mourning turns into dancing, and the great reversal is that Jesus’ death is not the last scene in His story. Resurrection prevails. When He defeats death, it means that death does not have to be the final scene in our stories. Death is conquered, and life has just begun again. For this reason, I see both beauty and something worth celebrating in the flow of Jesus’ blood.
“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve a living God!”