God Has Made The Way

A sculpture of Jesus on the cross becoming sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), made out of garbage.

JOHN THE BAPTIST ARTWORKS SERIES

Click on the image to enlarge it.

SOLD, Wood, Garbage, Barbed Wire, 150 cm x 250 cm x 30 cm (4.5′ x 8′ x 1′)

 

By Rebecca Brogan, Joe Brogan and Janet Stone

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)

God created us to be in a loving personal relationship with him. Sadly however, every one of us has sinned. Our sin separates us from God because he is perfect in holiness.

Thankfully, out of his great love for us, God has made the way for us to be reconciled back to him.

He sent his Son, Jesus, to live the perfectly sinless life none of us could live. Jesus then substitutionally took upon himself all our sinful garbage and bore the full punishment for it by dying on the cross in our place and rising from the dead.

Jesus died as our ransom, but each of us must individually appropriate it through faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. You must ask God to forgive you of all your sins and then trust in Jesus, that he has saved you from the full punishment for your sins by his death on the cross. See(“Message“).

This sculpture was an idea the Lord gave to my friend, Janet Stone. My husband, Joe, and I were the ones who assembled the sculpture. It was done for an art exhibition called “Art From Trash” (http://www.artfromtrash.org/)where each piece of artwork had to be made completely out of trash.

There were two very notable things about this piece that encouraged us that the Lord was with us in it:

First, due to time constraints, I only had one day in which to collect the garbage and assemble the sculpture in order to meet the exhibition deadline. When I went down to the banks of the Derwent River to collect the rubbish I prayed that God would supply me with just the right pieces he wanted me to use for the sculpture. I was amazed with one particular piece I found. It was a four month old grocery store ad saying, “Your hunt for Easter value is over.” The picture showed a very secular Easter advertisement with a young girl dressed as an Easter bunny. It was a perfect piece of garbage to bind to the cross. I found very little printed matter during my few hours of collecting rubbish (only a few torn pages total), so finding this ad was quite remarkable, especially because it was a couple months after Easter.

The second notable thing was that though I had intended to randomly bind the garbage to the cross, when we hoisted it up to look at it (for we had assembled it laying down), it looked a bit like an abstract form of Jesus. When I asked my husband Joe if he could see it too, he said yes. He had actually seen the form of Jesus take shape bit by bit as I was “randomly” binding the garbage to the cross. He said he thought I was deliberately doing that, but I said, no, not at all! It was already late at night, and we didn’t have time to take it all off and reassemble it. We discussed the implications of leaving the form of Christ as garbage. In the end, we felt that, just as Pilate had said, “What I have written, I have written” (John 19:22), so also what we sculpted, we have sculpted. I had not intended to make it look like Jesus, but now that the sculpture was complete and we were out of time, we accepted that was the way God sovereignly ordained for it to take shape. We used barbed wire to bind the garbage to the cross, and so we also formed a “crown of thorns” (Matthew 27:29) out of the barbed wire as well.

Because the sculpture abstractly resembles Christ, it all the more strongly reinforces to me the full identification that Christ had for my (our) sin. When I think of pure, sinless Jesus and then look at the representation of him made up of the most revolting refuse, it humbles me and reminds me of the amazing love, compassion and grace that Jesus has for us by “becoming” sin for us so that in him we may become all of his righteousness–the righteousness of God 2 Corinthians 5:20-21! These statements are all the more meaningful and powerful to me because I never planned the sculpture to turn out this way. God did, and he is the one who is clearly speaking these things through it to us.