|THE SACRIFICE OF ISAAC BY CARAVAGGIO (1571-1610)|
Caravaggio captures quite powerfully the dramatic seen in the Bible when Abraham is about to sacrifice Isaac. The resolute determination of Abraham to obey God. See how he holds that knife and then his puzzling reaction to the Angel - or is it a joyful surprise? A state of shock seems to overwhelms. But its the fear and anguish of Isaac that grabs your attention! His mouth stands open - life is ebbing away. If there are screams they are minimal for his neck is held against a rock! Pain and despair has surely engulfed him. The contrast with the lamb substitute couldn't be more dramatic! He stands there at peace with his surrounding! And so was Jesus, the lamb who would come to offer himself so willingly. For sure pain was at the cross but not fear of death, for Jesus came to free us from its grip. As the writer to the Hebrews says, Jesus came to "set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying" (Hebrews 2:15, NLT).