We will be offering a virtual journey through the Stations of the Cross in our live-streamed service.
Controversial in its own day, Eakins’ painting still appears shocking and disturbing, even more than one hundred years after its creation. Dedicated to realism in art and suspicious of organized religion, Eakins wanted to paint a Jesus for a modern American audience. Emphasizing Jesus’ physical body and eliminating traditional signs of divinity (such as a halo), Eakins showed Jesus’ head bowed and shrouded in shadows, his claw-like hands clenched in pain and bright red drips of blood running down his feet. There is nothing here of a kingly or triumphant Jesus. Instead, this is a man scorned and betrayed, who seems to have just cried out the desperate words “My God, why have you forsaken me?” Uncomfortably realistic in its depiction of Jesus, the painting drives home the utterly scandalous nature of the cross.
Loving Christ, who suffered, died, and rose again, grant me the faith to take up my own cross today and follow you. Put to death my pride and selfishness that I might reflect the gentle and loving way of Jesus. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who love me with perfect love. Amen.