Summary: Communion Meditation for October 4, 2009
(Slide 1) How do you see Jesus? If you could paint a picture of Him, what would He look like?
(Slide 1a) What color eyes would you give Him?
(Slide 1b) What color hair would you give Him?
(Slide 1c) How tall would you make Him?
This past week I attended a series of lectures at Anderson University in which the presenter, Dr Rodney Sadler, Jr from Union Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina showed this picture. (Slide 2) Source: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/research/1282186.html
It is a composite done by a retired English medical artist, Richard Neave. Neave and his team measured the skulls of Galilean remains from the time of Christ, and with a sophisticated computer program, developed this composite model of what a first century Galilean may have looked like.
The article, which was the cover story in the December 2002 Popular Mechanics concluded with this statement, “From an analysis of skeletal remains, archeologists had firmly established that the average build of a Semite male at the time of Jesus was 5 ft. 1 in., with an average weight of about 110 pounds. Since Jesus worked outdoors as a carpenter until he was about 30 years old, it is reasonable to assume he was more muscular and physically fit than westernized portraits suggest. His face was probably weather-beaten, which would have made him appear older, as well.”
(Slide 3) One of the pictures that we have often seen, and perhaps have in our homes is this one, from the work of Warner Sallman whose collection is housed at Anderson University. Take a moment and look at the differences between the two.
One of the points made in the lectures was that we often ‘see’ Christ through the lens of our own cultural background but that Jesus, when He came to earth, lived in a human body within in a particular time, place and a particular culture. And the lecturer went on to say that there is a disconnect with it that can cause us to misplace, if you will, Jesus in a way that our faith can become distorted.
I share these pictures this morning, not to upset anyone whatsoever, but to stir our hearts this morning as we consider that while living in a particular human culture; and taking on the characteristics of a particular human race in human history, Jesus is more than a picture of one culture, He is the redeemer and savior of all humanity; of all cultures.
Our text for this morning is in keeping with the emphasis of the meditation title. (Slide 4)
Our text for this morning is Isaiah 53:1-6: (Slide 5) Who has believed our message? To whom will the LORD reveal his saving power? My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground.
(Slide 6) There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.