Finished, by teen artist Elizabeth Crary, Pittsburgh

But Jesus cared for others even in death

John 19:26-30 When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” … Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” They held sour wine up to his lips.When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then, crying with a loud voice, he said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” And he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Station of the cross 7: Jesus dies on the cross

A hospice chaplain told me that often a person does not die until he or she feels “free” to go. This perception usually happens when family members, despite their sorrow, release their loved one. Sometimes the dying one waits until a specific person arrives and says goodbye. We experienced this with Karis.

Jesus needed to complete his farewell to his mother and to “the disciple he loved,” ensuring they would care for each other. Even while enduring an extremely painful death, Jesus reached out to them with love.

Elizabeth describes her art piece like this:

“One of the problems with making a piece for the Station of the Cross series is that quite a few of the scenes are rather gruesome if depicted literally, without metaphors or symbolism. I chose a piece that I could draw symbolically, Jesus dying on the cross. 

“The idea of a candle, representing his life, being snuffed out intrigued me. I wanted to portray the contrast between the “white” of Jesus’ righteousness and the “red” of his blood shed for us, so I contrasted the white unmelted candle with the red melted wax to portray Jesus’ blood being shed. 

“Though it is an artistically simple piece, I appreciated how it didn’t avoid the clearcut harsh reality of the cross. It shows the clear line between life and death and how it was extinguished before the candle (Jesus) had the time to burn through (live a “full life”). As paintings go, this is one of my favorites that I made, and I hope others appreciate it too.”

[Debbie] As I’ve spent some time with Elizabeth’s candle, it seemed to me that the melting red wax uncovering the pure white candle underneath could represent the glory of the revelation on the cross of Jesus’s divinity, such that the centurion exclaimed, “Truly this man was God’s Son.”

Chris Tomlin has yet another understanding of the red and white of the cross (Love Ran Red).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s