For the celebration of Passover, Jesus went to the temple in Jerusalem with his family when he was twelve. The Passover lamb had to be without blemish to qualify as a sacrifice for sin. Symbolically, Jesus carries the Passover lamb and will himself become the sacrificial “Lamb of God” who takes away the sins of the world. As well as the tenderness of the boy and lamb, the beauty and distinctiveness of the Hebrew language is in itself an art and Marybeth loves utilizing its uniqueness as part of her design. Here, in the layer upon layer effect she incorporates so frequently in her art, the words for lamb and God are blended into the rendering adding to the mystery and wonder of “The Lamb of God.”
Imagine the absolute perfection of God’s plan…to give us clues and prophecies about His design down to the smallest detail, starting with the incarnation. A “stable,” shepherds, outside the city of Bethlehem, Migdal Eder, the field for sacrificial lambs. Perhaps a lambing shed, where the sheep give birth to those that will be Passover lambs: pure, spotless, unblemished males set apart for sacrifice. Our savior set apart from the moment of His amazing supernatural entrance into the world He came to save. Born to be the Lamb of God that takes away sin of the world. God with us–Immanuel.
Scripture tells us God delights in our worship. We can experience His presence and glory when worshipping in true, abandoned, intimate adoration. This watercolor was developed during a worship conference and the symbolism evolved as His glory came. The lion in the clouds represents the King we worship, our audience of one. Liquid honey fell from the clouds like rain. The glory broke through as if the rainbow around His heavenly throne poured from an open heaven in a Holy Spirit wind in and through us. The blackness of our sin was washed as the glory pierced our being. Anointing for ministry was an obvious result as our hands and hearts grew warm. We were reminded of our need for Him as sin oozed back in and yet the Savior’s blood, stronger and more certain, surged in a circle of brightness as we stood “In the Glory.”
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy…be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 24,25
Jesus prayed for His followers to be one as He and the Father are one. Just as a three strand cord is not easily broken, lives intertwined with the Lord are bound with His strength and brought together in peace. In our stress filled world, we can go together to the Lord to find rest and peace and fulfill His prayer for us to be “One in Him.”
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to snuggle into the chest of Jesus and to have complete confidence in His strong arms? “In His Hands II” is the second in a series of lambs in the arms of Jesus. Marybeth painted the first lamb of the series in watercolor, her primary medium, but enjoys the peaceful, methodical process of pencil used in her second and third.
Painted using only three colors, this communion image identifies three elements of the Passover meal Jesus shared with His disciples. Worship in a deeper understanding of Christ’s sacrifice, by exploring the symbolism of the third of the four cups of wine in the meal, the spotless lamb roasted on two skewers in the form of a cross, and the unleavened bread that appears bruised, striped and pierced. In Hebraic tradition, Jesus took the elements of Passover and fulfilled their meaning with Himself; the Bread of Life, the Sacrificial Lamb, the New Covenant in His blood. We can remember what He has done for us and say with the centurion at the foot of the cross, “Truly, this Man was the son of God.” Mk 15:39