God Has Made The Way

CHRISTIAN FINE ART GALLERY > JOHN THE BAPTIST ARTWORKS SERIES > God Has Made The Way

 

By Rebecca Brogan, Joe Brogan and Janet Stone | SOLD, Wood, Garbage, Barbed Wire, 150 cm x 250 cm x 30 cm (4.5′ x 8′ x 1′)

 


 

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).

 

Jesus took all of our sins upon himself and bore the punishment for them through his death on the cross. This sculpture of Jesus on the cross is literally made out of garbage; the garbage represents our sin. Jesus, who is God, is not garbage. However, as he identified himself with sinful men and took upon himself the sins of the world, the Bible says he ‘became sin’ for us–that is, the innocent, sinless Lamb of God became a substitute for sinful men by bearing our sins and paying the punishment for them. He did this so that we could be forgiven and reconciled to God. (See Message).

 


 

Artist’s Reflection:

 

“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 throughout eternity.

 

Sadly, however, we have all rebelled against God by sinning against him.

 

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23)

 

Because God is perfect in holiness he cannot be in the presence of sin. Therefore, we have all been alienated from him. Because God is perfect in justice, he must punish for our sins, which is death and hell.

 

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

 

However, God dearly loves us and still desires us to be in a loving, personal relationship with him. Therefore, God has made the way for us to be forgiven and reconciled back to him.

 

God chose to pay the punishment for our sins through his death on the cross.

 

He personally came to us as the Person of Jesus. He lived the morally perfect, sinless life that none of us could live. Because he never sinned, he never deserved to be punished, yet, he made himself as substitutionary sacrifice for our sins, taking all of our sins up on himself and then dying on the cross in our place. Three days later Jesus rose from the dead in order to make reconciliation with God possible for us.

 

Jesus died as our ransom, BUT in order to individually receive that ransom, be forgiven and reconciled to God, you must:

 

1) Repent (confess and turn away from your sins)

 

2) Trust in Jesus Christ to save you from your sins. Believe that he has paid the punishment for all of YOUR sins through 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” where each piece of artwork had to be made completely out of trash.

 

The message of this artwork is based upon the Bible verse:

 

“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)

 

Jesus on the cross in this sculpture is literally made out of garbage; the garbage represents our sin. Jesus, who is God, is not garbage. However, as he identified himself with sinful men and took upon himself the sins of the world, the Bible says he ‘became sin’ for us–that is, the innocent, sinless Lamb of God became a substitute for sinful men by bearing our sins and paying the punishment for them.

 

There were two very remarkable things about this piece of artwork in particular:

 

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 really amazed with one particular piece I found. It was a few months 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 had been sitting for a few months as rubbish along the banks of the Derwent.

 

The second notable thing was that although I had intended to randomly bind the garbage to the cross in no particular form (according to the original idea of my friend, Janet) 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. And 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) sins. When I think of pure, sinless Jesus and then look at the horrific representation of him made up of 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 very righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)!

 

These statements are all the more meaningful and powerful to me because I never intentionally planned the sculpture to turn out this way. God did, however, and he is the one who is clearly speaking his message to us.

 

 

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