Monday, April 04, 2011

2011 lent collage 4: flogged

for this week as i continue my lenten discipline of wrestling with each week's sermon text by creating a collage, we moved to mark 15:1-15.  basically it's the story of how Jesus was handed over by the sanhedrin to the guy with the real power (read: the power to issue the death penalty), pontius pilate.  there's some real interesting stuff in this text, particularly as it pertains to the other jesus in the story, jesus barabbas, the insurrectionist.  i find it fascinating that the crowd there that morning decided that their chances were better with the violent insurrectionist than the peaceful Jesus of nazareth.  i makes me wonder how often i choose other ways than the way of Christ, because they look faster or easier or because they make more sense to me.  how often do i choose other "saviors" ("jesus" means savior)?    how often do i choose barabbas in my life?

but then, after pilate finally relents to the pressure of the crowd, he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to them. 


such a simple word without much cultural meaning for us.  we don't see much flogging (fortunately), and it is pretty easy to just gloss right over that word.  after all, we know what's coming next in the story which makes flogging look like a walk in the garden.  but still, maybe we would do well just to linger there for a moment.  Jesus certainly did.  this King of peace, who chose not to defend himself to the roman governor; who chose God's will rather than his own; who knew that these agonies were only a taste of what lied ahead.  this King of Love was stretched out as ignorant men striped his back with welts.  i have no desire to get all "mel gibson" on you here, but as i wrestled with this text i couldn't get past the sheer brutality of it: flogged.  like a common criminal.  the King of Creation, punished and humiliated in place of Barabbas, in place of all of us - any of us. 

it's nearly too much to imagine, and way more than enough to break my heart. 

so i made this collage:

"lent 2011: flogged"
mixed media collage on canvas
april, 2011
gregory a. milinovich

to see some close ups and details of the collage, click keep reading. 

" his wounds we are healed."  -isaiah 53:5


Emoly said...

while I'm not sure how I would choose to "see" flogged represented, your collage does the job (I can't use the words "amazing" or "fantastic" because of the meaning of the word has such negative connotation). your work is incredible and straight to the meaning. It is a truthful and abstract way of interpreting "flogged". So while I don't want to "like" it because of it's truth, I find it an excellent reminder/example of Jesus' pain.

Greg C. said...

Having just come out of the Skylands Walk to Emmaus #36, I can attest to the incredibility of God's love. Your powerful collage does the same. Thanks for sharing.

greg. said...

thanks, Em. glad you "got" it and appreciated it for what it is.

greg. said...

thanks, Greg! i appreciate the kind words. glad you had a great reminder of God's incredible love on Emmaus. nothing like it.

John said...

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