Where is Jesus coming from and moving towards?
What is the yellow circle?
Who is the person at the top?
These questions are asked in this art study, of the painting of the Ascension by Dali.
|Dali - Ascension|
An unscarred Jesus isn't the real Jesus. He's not taking the realities of my life back to heaven in this picture - he's all glowy and untouched.
The Jesus who was among us - who lived with friends, ate fish and bread and drank wine - that's not him. The Jesus who was among us went to heaven with holes in his hands and side. With the mark of nails driven through his feet. With lashes carved into his back. With the thorn-holes pressed into his head.
When a child dies on a boat heading across the Mediterranean, then the scarred Christ feels the pain. When somebody dies far, far too young - leaving behind children, or even parents - the Christ who was among us knows what it means.
When somebody is homeless on a street, the Son of Man who had no place to lay his head lays down with them, and prepares a home for them.
When someone is hated for being good, doing good, believing in Jesus as Lord - then their murdered Lord looks at his scars and knows what it means.
The man enthroned in heaven is the "Lamb who was slain", the suffering servant. He took our pain, our separation, our struggles, our humanity and he lifted them up into the heart of heaven. And he did that so that, at his Father's side, every time he appeals for us, he can say - "and look at me."
When I'm at the bottom of a metaphorical well, I don't need a Lord who's shiny, way above me and well out of it, calling down, "don't worry, it will all be fine later." I want the person beside me, holding on to me, telling me he's been through it all himself and he's going to climb out of it with me.
I don't want a shiny, untouchable, remote Jesus. I want the grubby one.