God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. – Acts 5:31
The painting above is titled Saul and David. It hangs in The Hague Mauritshuis Museum as a work of the Dutch master-artist Rembrandt van Rijn. However the authenticity of the masterpiece has been in question since an expert raised doubt in the 1960’s.
According to a CBS news report Carol Pottasch, a restorer at the museum, understood the doubt. She was quoted, “I guess that was the biggest problem that he faced. He couldn’t see a painting by Rembrandt because there was no painting to see,” she said Tuesday. “And now we’ve taken off all these layers now you can actually see the original paint again and then there’s no doubt.”
Many attempts to restore the time-dulled original beauty caused the confusion and doubt. But painstaking work and investigation revealed the truth of the matter. A Rembrandt did actually exist underneath all that paint.
When I read this story I was happy to see hard work reveal the truth about the painting. I like truth. In my field careful, complete, and objective examination reveals it in a crime scene.
But objectivity is not the popular trend. It hasn’t been for thousands of years. People believe what they want to believe. Even if they have to alter the facts to make that possible they will do it. Then when those people find others with similar desires they become “experts.”
Many paint over the reality of who Jesus Christ is to make Him more appealing to their tastes, politics, affiliations, and even religions. Some of the first were the Gnostics.
For instance, I have read and heard many things about Jesus Christ that attempt to alter his image. Things like:
- “Jesus died too soon. If he had lived to my age he would have repudiated his doctrine.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
- “There couldn’t possibly be just one way . . .” [Lady in the audience: “What about Jesus?”] “What about Jesus? . . . Does God care about your heart or does God care about if you call his son Jesus?” — Oprah Winfrey
As a personal aside, to Oprah Winfrey’s quote: If my beloved son sacrificed himself so someone else could live…I would be real, real upset if they didn’t care who he was or what his name was.
- And some college students think?
I have learned from investigating thousands of crime scenes that the truth can be found by only objective investigation. I myself made a thorough investigation of the authenticity of Jesus Christ. Men like Lee Strobel, J. Warner Wallace, and many others have made investigations. The same conclusion is drawn. Coincidentally the same one the people who personally knew Him drew. His disciples and Apostles penned eyewitness accounts of the truth in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only One in whom we can find salvation. Under all that confusing paint, Yep that’s Jesus!
To maintain objectivity (which is vital) in a crime scene investigation any presumptions must be tossed out. So, toss out the factor of who you want Jesus Christ to be. Then make your own investigation. Look at who He actually was by fist reading His words and about His actions in the four Gospels. Look underneath the many layers covering the original masterpiece. You just might find Jesus Christ is not exactly who you thought He was. He is Supremely more!
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