Hunt did the painting from a rooftop in Jerusalem in the early 1870’s. While it is historically fictitious, it is theologically true. Jesus was born for this purpose: to give his life on the cross for our sin. His life was not taken from him for he gave it willingly. Jesus’ mission was the cross. Ours is the same. As we begin to turn our attention toward Easter, may our hearts be filled with praise and worship of the “lamb who was slain.” May we commit ourselves in a new, fresh way and continue the mission Jesus began.
There is a famous painting by Holman Hunt, leader of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, titled The Shadow of Death. The picture depicts Jesus standing inside the carpenter’s shop in Nazareth. He is standing by a wooden trestle on which he has laid down his saw. He stands with his eyes fixed toward heaven and arms stretched outward. As he pauses from his work in this posture, the sunlight casts a shadow in the form of a cross on the wall behind him.