Friday, April 10, 2020

“My Wretched State”

Copyright © Edward Riojas

It is easy, on this Friday we call “Good,” to focus on the pathetic state of Jesus as He poured out His blood on the cross. With unseen sanctuaries draped in black; with our minds dwelling on the Passion of our Lord, we remember the bloody wretch of a God-Man slowly dying on a wooden cross. Christ, however, was not alone in his wretchedness.

In his hymn, “Dear Christians One And All Rejoice,” Martin Luther reminds us of our own condition in the words, “But God had seen my wretched state before the world’s foundation...” WE were wretched.

To illustrate this verse of the hymn, I chose to use a diptych – a double panel. The left panel shows the Fall, with its antidote, the crucifixion of Christ, on the right. Bridging the two panels is a figure of the Satan, who descends the first tree and is impaled by the second, greater tree. This reflects the Proper Preface for Lent, “...that he who by a tree once overcame might likewise by a tree be overcome, through Christ, our Lord...”

The illustration also alludes to the words of 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” and again in verse 45, “Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”

The fact that Satan is done in, that his head is crushed, and that his accusing black tongue is silenced by the Word Incarnate is beyond significant. Our nakedness is now covered by Christ’s righteousness which was laid bare, on the cross, for the world to see. This is, indeed, Good.

Giclée prints of “Dear Christians: Salvation,” are available for purchase in two formats. To order or for more information, please e-mail me at PLEASE NOTE: Due to the current stay-at-home mandate, prints will not be shipped out until the end of April, at the earliest.

Sizes/prices for giclée prints of “Dear Christians: Salvation Spread:”
30” x 19” / $140
24” x 15.2” / $110
16” x 10.1” / $75

Sizes/prices for giclée prints of “Dear Christians: Salvation Vertical:”
18.8” x 24” / $120
12.5” x 16” / $75

The book, “Dear Christians, One And All Rejoice,” (Kloria Publishing) is available through and Concordia Publishing House.

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