forsaken, matthew 27:46
Forsaken, Matthew 27:46
Acrylic Paint, Graphite, and Gold Leaf on Mylar
2017 – 2018
Forsaken, Matthew 27:46 reveals the cause of Christ’s sacrifice, and reaches the climax of Jesus’ suffering. This piece alters the tone of the series. The elements introduced in this work illustrate the necessity and severity of Jesus’ sacrifice.
An obvious change is the difference in the visualization of God the Father. No longer is He portrayed as a gold triangle and implied circle, but a dark foreboding mass. This weighty form includes the same shapes as the crowd in the previous pieces and is meant to indicate God’s connection to His creation.
In this instance, the heaviness of the shapes also symbolizes the darkness that came over the land at this time. Scripture tells us that at the sixth hour (noon) darkness fell over the land for three hours. Jesus’ cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” marked the end of this darkness.
Additionally, the lines and smaller shapes are blue instead of red. Blue is a color associated with heaven, this change illustrates that, unlike people, God is not sinful. He is ruler of the heavens and the earth. The connecting triangles are all gold, signifying –as the large triangle does in previous pieces– that He is a member of the Holy Trinity. The drastic change in the visualization of God represents His wrath shouldered by Jesus. Yet, it was His justice being carried out, He knew He had to turn turn away from His Son.
In order to illustrate the idea of turning away, the Jesus Octagon and God the Father are no longer connected. There is a vertical red line, which seems to be “reaching up” towards the Father; but isn’t received. In fact, the gold triangle within the Jesus Octagon is surrounded by a thin red line. Illustrating Jesus’ loss of fellowship with God. He is still a member of the Trinity, as indicated by the gold triangle, but His fellowship with God has been interrupted to fulfill the task of salvation.
Likewise, it is important to understand the absence of the crowd. The Gospel accounts reveal that there were people present at this time; but their exclusion was to ensure the break in fellowship between Jesus and God wouldn’t be obstructed by their presence.
With all of this in mind, Forsaken, Matthew 27:46 is an illustration of the actual hell that Jesus endured for those three hours. Hell, from the Christian perspective, is understood as being cast out of God’s presence with the inability to reach Him. During this specific time on the cross, as indicated by Jesus’ words and the darkness, Christ endured hell, but not merely as an absence of God. He endured all of mankind’s hell. He died for every single sin and thus experienced hell for every single person. Without His sacrifice there would be no hope for anyone, and so the believer can happily announce that they are forgiven and have no need to fear death.