Sunday, April 24, 2011


It is Easter Sunday morning. There are so many fine paintings from which to choose one that depicts the the intelligent movement from conjecture and hypothesis to conviction and faith. Many great paintings illustrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Most show Christ with scarred hands outstretched, or the risen Christ standing outside the now empty tomb, or otherwise revealing his victory over the grave and death. Perhaps no artist has captured the bewilderment and the emotion associated with human intellect coming to terms with the truth of Jesus' supernatural identity than this beautiful painting by Caravaggio called “Doubting Thomas.” It is an outstanding piece. Caravaggio makes flesh come to life. He brilliantly and dramatically stages the scene. This is Christ living and breathing despite his mortal and still open wounds, standing with his disciples eye to eye. Thomas had expressed his doubt about the report of the other disciples that Jesus was alive again. He said he would not believe unless he himself touched Jesus' wound, actually put his finger in Jesus' gaping side wound. Jesus permitted Thomas to do this, and in this moment, Thomas, astounded and convinced said, "My Lord and My God."

Caravaggio lived from 1573 – 1610. His Christ lives forever. And his visualized victory here is shared. The promise to us is this. Whoever believes in him will not utterly perish but will have everlasting life. 

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