This is an illustration to accompany Michael Zarling’s upcoming post in Bread for Beggars. Â It’s a pretty straightforward remix of the central portion of my St. Croix mural. Â ClickÂ this post Â for video, commentary, and process photos related to that project.
While the original mural incorporates a wide range of symbolism, this piece needed to focus on Jesus as the Bread of Life. Â As Confessional Lutherans we hold the means of grace as central to our relationship with God (namely Baptism, The Lord’s Supper, God’s Word). Â We believe that in these sacraments God comes to us in grace and love. Â Worship is an opportunity to visit with and be visited by God himself. Â The “Bread of Life” image emphasizes Jesus’ seeming paradox of victory in his willing sacrifice. Â He is shown in a moment and posture of utter defeat, but simultaneously glorious and radiant. Â His substitution on our behalf was THE turning point for all of humanity, even as it was his utter defeat…temporarily. Â I have designed the image to evoke this both-at-onceÂ mystery. Â Stalks of wheat surround him referring to the Lord’s Supper and the life-giving meal of the Gospel message. Â Those stalks of wheat radiate from and direct our attention to the ancient scroll from which he seems to emerge. Â That scroll represents the Word of God and is inscribed with Hebrew text of the protoevangelium-the first promise of a Savior. Â Some people have asked whether the number of wheat stalks is symbolic. Â I’m built for visual symbolism rather than logical or rational parallels, so the answer is no. Â Think more on the timeless nature of “daily bread” and the eternal implications of such a daily need. Â Besides “The Bread of Life” Â Jesus is also referred to as “The Word”. Â The original St. Croix painting also includes symbolism related to Jesus as “the Vine” and “the Living Water”.
The St. Croix mural is shown below. Â It’s 15 feet wide and with textured paint, gold leaf, super vibrant colors, and good lighting…it really should be seen in person.