I was seven years old when the crucifixion was first presented on the televison. I watched transfixed by this man who strode across the land of Israel,
healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers and calling the children to Himself. Why then did they kill Him?
I was devastated. No one could comfort me and I proceeded to cry my way through the rest of the day and into the night. This was my first encounter with grief, for which I was not prepared.
I remember clearly that being unable to sleep, deeply distressed and still crying, I crept out of bed and found my parents in the lounge.
"Mummy will Jesus forgive me, I've been a very naughty girl?"
mother reasured me that He would, and at last I was able to sleep; but how did I know I needed forgiveness?
We were not a regular church going family - Easter, Christmas and a wedding or two. The following Christmas found us in church singing the old familiar hymns. When it came to 'In the Bleak Midwinter' I could feel the same sadness I had felt at Easter,
and tears burned at the back of my eyes. The final verse asks a question; the final line gives the answer:
I give Him poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd I would give a lamb.
If I were a wise man I would play my part,
what I can I give Him: give Him my heart.
With tears pouring down my face I silently cried out, "You can have my heart
Jesus." From that moment on I knew that God was real and He had heard my prayer.
What was all that suffering about?
Many years later I was to find out in a amazing way.
After a traumatic situation has occured, many people get flashbacks, and that is how this painting
came about. In 1995/6 I began to have flashbacks of the scourging; but instead of blood, I was seeing names, imprinted by the lash. Some I recognised, some were strangers. Eventually I asked the question, "Lord you can't possibly want me to paint
that?!" He did.
written in between the lashings speak of the reason why. They are taken from John 3 verse 16 and Isaiah 53
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.
* * *
He was wounded for our transgressions
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The punishment for our peace was laid on Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
His Love for you and me is the reason why he allowed Himself to suffer and be crucified, so that you and I could be forgiven by God the Father. It says, "Without
the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sin." Hebrews 9 verse 22
is an infection you are born with; every child born since Adam sinned. We are infected with it. Look at the word 'SIN': 'I' in the middle, me, what 'I' want, not God. But the question is how to get the sin out of us?