Rembrandt, the foremost artist of Holland’s 17th century “golden age,” was known as a master printmaker. In this etching (a type of print), Rembrandt used the visual impact of light and dark to tell the story of Jesus’ interactions with the two criminals. While Jesus is at the center, Rembrandt also draws our eye to the man on Jesus’ left, whose entire body is directed towards the heavens. The streams of light that illuminate Jesus cascade over this man, who recognized in his last moments that Jesus is Lord. The other criminal remains in darkness, a visual expression of his hardened heart. Rembrandt powerfully depicts this quiet moment of forgiveness and hope, occurring amidst the frenzied activity at the foot of the cross.
Loving Father, hear my cry in the morning and my lament in the evening. And as I wait for your deliverance, may hope and peace sustain me in the day. Grant me perseverance and faith to believe in the one whom you have sent, the one who chose to suffer with us. In the name of Christ who was crucified for love. Amen.