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The Resurrection Celebrated in Art

“3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also . . .” (The Apostle Paul – 1 Corinthians 15)

Some of my favorites pieces of art that celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!  I chose them for the realism that they portray to the resurrection. Many artist have painted resurrection art, but so often they are mystical in nature.  These four images help us connect biblical reality.  Jesus died.  He rose again.  He was touched.  He ate.  He walked.  He appeared to many.

(click on pictures for larger image)

The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection ( Eugène Burnand - 1898)

Burnand shows Peter and John running to the empty tomb – notice the concerned, wondering, anticipation on their faces as they run.  Of course John gets there first as he is clear to point out in John 20: “3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.”

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas (Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio - 1602)

This painting captures the moment when Thomas puts his finger into Jesus’ wound.  This reminds me of what John wrote in 1 John 1:  1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

Kitchen Scene with the Supper in Emmaus (Diego Velazquez - 1618)

Kitchen Scene with the Supper in Emmaus (Diego Velazquez - 1618)

One of my favorites!  We join with this kitchen servant as she sneaks a peak at Jesus as they realize that He is the risen Messiah!  “When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. (Luke 24)”

Supper at Emmaus (Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio 1606)

Another portrayal of Jesus with the two men who were joined by Jesus on the way to Emmaus.  From Luke 24: “13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him. . .  26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”


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