“My Confessions” by Kathy Hatch 36″X 48″
This painting was a labor of love for me and Jesus. Getting the form and composition was easy. However, painting the faces was very difficult. I tried to figure in the age that Mary would have been at the time of the crucifixion. She was 14 when she and the Holy Spirit conceived the Son of God. So I added 33 years which was the age of Jesus when he expired on the Cross. She would have been around 47 at that time. No matter how hard I tried, I could not make her look the age that I considered. I still see her as the 14-year-old young woman who said YES!
I can only imagine the pain in her heart having to watch her Son who was brutally tortured. Wrongfully executed on the Cross of our redemption. When in her heart she knew there was a bigger cause for the agony that He endured.
When a child falls and scrapes their knee a mother’s heart sinks and she feels the pain of her child as if it were her own. She immediately begins to clean the wound. Perhaps some ointment to prevent infection. The mother puts a bandaid on the scrape and she usually will kiss the now-covered injury. That is motherhood. That is what we do with love.
The body of Christ had suffered so many wounds and lacerations. On His precious head He bore the wounds from the crowning of thorns. The soldiers mocked Jesus as they whipped him. Jesus took on the shame of our sins with every blow. Every stroke of the paintbrush on the body of Jesus is representative of my sins. At times I would have to step back from the canvass to weep in sorrow for my sins. It was sometimes painful for me. Imagine his pain. My sins put Him there. I felt the weight of sin on His bruised and battered legs.
By the way, I apologize. Those strikes of color which represent the wounds on Jesus’ body are only my sins in this painting. I had no room for yours. There was just no room!
This was and is a very personal painting. I felt exposed as I opened the wounds further with the strength of the brush. The firmer brushes were used to lay in the contours of Both Jesus and Mary. Many times I would say to Mary, “I am so sorry Mary, for harming your Son and thereby wounding your heart as well.” He took on all of our sins not just my own. Past, present, and future, but for all of mankind who acknowledge Jesus as the only true Son of God.
No longer was it necessary to offer animals sacrificed to God for atonement. Jesus said I will be your sacrifice once and for all! But before this sacrifice, there was another, back in Genesis 14:
When Abram returned from his defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were allied with him, the king of Sodom went out to greet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
Melchizedek, king of Salem,* brought out bread and wine. He was a priest of God Most High.
He blessed Abram with these words:c
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
the creator of heaven and earth;
And blessed be God Most High,
who delivered your foes into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
As we see here the first instance of offering bread and wine in the Bible was from the high Priest Melchizedek, king of Salem. After which, Abraham(then Abram) tithed 1/10 of everything to Melchizedek. The first priest mentions in the Bible by name. And is a model for the priesthood today. Hebrews 5:
“You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.”
In the days when he was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death,* and he was heard because of his reverence.
and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him,g
declared by God high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
The night before his death Jesus did the same with bread and wine. Only this time he gave of himself truly. Jesus was prefigured as far back as Genesis as I’ve shown you. He knew that he would suffer. He also knew who would betray him. Every time that you or I sin that is a wound to the Body of Jesus who loved us unto his own death. In order to fathom the reality of Christ, we must understand the value of suffering. Jesus showed us redemptive suffering. His examples are perfect both naturally and supernaturally. That Passover meal not only prefigured the Eucharist. It was the beginning of a covenant with His people.
Now for over two thousand years, the Eucharist is celebrated all over the world every day, every hour of the day. Except for Good Friday. (when there is dispensation or for the sick, or if it has been consecrated previously to the day of Good Friday)
The pieta that I have painted is in remembrance of that Good Friday. I can envision Jesus being taken off of the cross. Someone dislodges the nails from his hands and his feet. They then place his holy body on the lap of Mary his heartbroken virgin Mother before taking him to the tomb for burial. The Bible says that the earth went dark. Matt Ch.27:
From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.
And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”* which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
That is why I chose to keep the background of the painting very dark. I imagined there would be much more blood than I could paint. The wounds were difficult enough for this sinful soul. Due to the size and proportion of the scene and my canvas, it was impossible for me to get all of the seven wounds of Christ. I like many artists before I chose to put a veil (maybe Veronica’s veil?) over Jesus’ midsection to cover him up. We know that they hung Him naked to shame Him in front of those who followed Him. Surely Mary herself would have covered her Son of course. We should never forget the sufferings of Christ and we must learn to join our own suffering to His. We can even offer our own suffering up to God for those we love in imitation of Christ.
We can now look forward to Easter! Then we will celebrate the Resurrected Christ in all of His glory! We will share in that Resurrection in joy and thanksgiving. Our sins will be washed clean by his word and our repentance. We will renew our Baptismal Promises and we will start a new day praising Him all the day long. And Hallelujah will be our song! Thank you Jesus for all that you’ve done for me and for carrying my own cross when I could not. Look at how much he loved us! How very much He loves you! If ever you feel unworthy of His love just look up at the Cross and He tells you every time that you are still His. And you are worthy. Let us thank Him always. A grateful heart is a happy heart. Thank you Jesus for loving me. I pray for each person that reads this. God bless you and keep you in the palm of His hand. Shalom.
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