Shadow of Death


“But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.”

(Isaiah 53:5)

Holman Hunt painted this picture entitled ‘The Shadow of Death.’ It shows Jesus in the carpenter’s shop, pausing in His work to stretch. As He does so the sun throws His shadow behind Him onto the wall and creates the impression of a crucifixion. Kneeling next to Him His mother is startled by the sudden appearance of the image.

Although it is historically fictitious it captures the understanding that from His birth the shadow of the cross was a part of Jesus life. His death was central to His mission and one day He would turn and face the cross that was forever there.

“I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.” (Isaiah 50:6-7)

• “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51)

His death was central to His mission. His death is a central part of the life and worship of His Church. Without His death on ‘Good Friday’ there would be no Easter Sunday and no hope either for the present or the future.

Think prayerfully on these things.


Thank You Lord Jesus. You suffered so much for me. Please help me not to take it lightly. Amen.


(Painting by W.H.Hunt – Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester}


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