by Ben Panter
As we lead up to Easter this year, our sermon series focuses on the last 7 things Jesus said on the cross. So throughout the series we'll be focusing on one statement a week in reflection on what it meant for Jesus as he said it, as well as what it means for us this Easter season. And with each statement, we've included an image or symbol that helps to illustrate or remind us some of the meaning. Throughout history art has been used to communicate deep truths at the visual level, so we wanted to give a short description of some of the intended meanings in these images to give you a starting point for your own reflection.
Three Nails - the implements of suffering and judgement.
In this case, there is a literal representation of the three nails: two for Jesus' hands, and one for his feet. This can serve as a reminder that these nails that were rightfully intended for us, but instead we placed them in the willing hands and feet of our savior.
City with a Tree - an eternal destination
This image is a representation of paradise as a city, which at its center has the tree of life. Additionally there are the "alpha" and "omega" symbols, which come out of the book of Revelations where Jesus refers to himself as "the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end". These images can speak many truths, but some of the key ones would be the upheld promise of Heaven or "Paradise" as a real destination that the follows of Jesus go when we dies. It also shows Paradise as being connected to the Garden of Eden, God's original paradise that will be restored. And lastly, it is a reminder that Jesus is eternal and rules eternally.
Last weekend we had a great, hands-on seminar led by Pastor Mark that walked everyone through a step-by-step process of reading the Psalms of Lament. Over 200 adults attended and it was a great morning, but we know there are more that would have liked to be there. So you can watch the seminar below as well as download the resources for your own use (but you'll have to supply your own highlighters!).
With each new sermon series we try to supply a handful of additional resources for you to explore. Books, podcasts and music can all help you go deeper into your understanding of the key themes being discussed each week. For this most recent series on lament there are a bunch we'd like you to be aware of.
A New Liturgy No 7: Lament
This video is by A New Liturgy and blends between a worship and spoken word lament. Take a few minutes and listen to this unfold.
Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament
Praying with the Psalms: A Year of Daily Prayers and Reflections on the Words of David