Under All That Paint – Yep That’s Jesus

 

God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.  – Acts 5:31

Saul and David by Rembrandt
Rembrandt’s Saul and David

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 StrobelJ. 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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RESISTANCE RADIO! RESIST! the urge to hate.

And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.                                                                                         — Mark 7:20-22

When it concerns my work as a CSI, I do not speak about cases under investigation. I do not speak to the media about any aspect of my job unless it has been cleared by my chain of command. Careless words spoken about a Crime Scene Investigation can ruin its findings in court. Incomplete or slanted information about the findings to media can provoke public outcry and anger. This has been clearly evidenced in several police shootings in recent years.  Make no mistake, there are individuals, businesses, and authorities who use this tactic to turn a profit.

Recently, Amazon Prime Video promoted their original series The Man In The High Castle.  I must say I have enjoyed the series. It is well acted and produced. The writing is a good adaptation of the original work by Philip K. Dick.

The commercial (above), objectively, did its job. In a very similar way to the original War of the Worlds radio broadcast, it struck a nerve and brought a lot of attention to the product. Sometimes attention is not a good thing. If you’ve ever suffered inflamed nerves, you know how easily pain erupts with the trigger of the slightest touch.

I doubt Amazon’s intention was to spark the vitriol of hate that soon erupted in social media.  Those supporting the current president of the USA – Donald Trump perceived an attack of hatred and malice. Those not, perceived fear and ignorance in his supporters.

In a previous post about hate, in particular, mass-murderer Dylan Roof’s, I pointed out that each of us has the potential to let it rule our lives. In another post, I wrote about fear.  Our world, with its billions of people, varied cultures, religions, and personal preferences, has commonalities. The worst, hate and fear, take our childish hands and lead us down a dark tunnel.

Is it a coincidence that the original “resistance radio” was aired by Jesus Christ to a world of people very similar to us?

According to Jesus’ words, broadcast from a hill to a large crowd of listeners, what we take into our bodies does not spiritually defile us. The information our eyes and ears take in, benign or malicious, filters through our heart, then comes out in our words and actions. If our hearts are full of hate and fear, our actions will promote hatred and fear.  There is a lot of both in our world.

The only, and I repeat ONLY, way to stop fear and hate from controlling our words and actions is to change our hearts. Unless we do there is no hope for us. Fortunately, the original Resistance Radio DJ, Jesus Christ can change hearts, take away fear, and end hatred. Tune your receiver to Him.

As the Apostle John said: do not imitate or promote what is evil, but instead what is good. Don’t be so quick to pull the trigger that enflames hatred and fear.

What triggers do you have? How are they related to your hates and fears?

 

Full disclosure: I do have an Amazon Affiliate link on this site. This post, however, is not purposefully related to it.

Moved By The Light

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

                                                                        – Colossians 1:17

light

Light. I have written about its value before. It is my most prized tool at a crime scene. With the contrast it provides I can find evidence which, by nature, is invisible the naked eye.

I just returned from instructing crime scene investigation to a fantastic group of writers at SilverHart SWAT (Suspense Writers Adventure and Training) Academy.  The academy is a great opportunity for writers to learn and do what law enforcement, military, and publishing professionals know and live. The trainees who went through my class and CSI-house heard my praise of light as a tool. Frankly, I think light is pretty awesome.

Science continues exploring the sub-atomic realms of God’s creation. Light is part of its mystery. The scientists and theologians at The Institute for Creation Research put out a publication named, Acts and Facts. I am impressed by the hard-science fact, and theology presented in its articles. I have met several of the highly-degreed staff members and found them extremely intelligent and genuinely Christ-devoted.

I will be the first to admit that some of the articles are pretty brainy. Well for me anyway. However, I am smart enough to understand much of the material and see the overall truth behind the rest. In the article linked here, an amazing fact is (pun intended) brought to light. A quote from that article reads:

“The photon (γ) is a particle of light and is also the messenger particle of the electromagnetic force. So, the particle that allows our eyes to see the world is the same particle that holds matter together.”

Reading this article, in particular, the paragraph and the above quote, about photons brought to mind what the Apostle Paul taught in the city of Colossae. The supremacy of Jesus the Christ being of prominent importance in his teaching.

God leaves evidence of his glory for us to see in all of His creation. Scientists now recognize light “holds matter together” in the physical realm. Just so, the Apostle Paul taught, Jesus Christ, the “Light of the World“— holds it all together— managing all creation for His Father.

Yes. Light is awesome!

What you have noticed in creation that has brought light to the truth of scripture? As always feel free to leave a comment.  I would love to hear from you.