The Cross of Christ Part 2 — A Suffering Savior for a Suffering World

Chaim Potok, conservative Jewish rabbi and Jewish scholar, wrote a beautiful novel called My Name is Asher Lev.  It is about a young Jewish boy who is an artist and whose Hassidic Jewish parents, especially his father, see his art as against the Torah, something for the goyim and unreligious Jews.  His parents are deeply involved in a dangerous movement to get their Hassidic Jewish brethren out of Russia where they are being persecuted and into the freedom and safety of western Europe and the United States.  His mother’s brother is killed in these efforts.  And Asher observes her suffering over his death as well as her worrying about his father’s frequent trips.  He also sees her suffer as she stands between her son and her husband in the conflict over his drawings and paintings. His mother takes him secretly to art museums where he sees many paintings by the old masters of the crucifixion. Intrigued by them, he asks his mother about them.  She says they are of Jesus, the God of the goyim, but we cannot speak of Him.  As Asher grows to manhood he continues with his art and becomes a successful artist. For the first exhibition of his paintings he depicts his mother’s suffering by painting her on a crucifix.

He thinks about the painting and the hurt it will cause his parents:  “For all the pain you suffered, my mama.  For all the torment of your past and future years, my mama.  For all the anguish this picture of pain will cause you.  For the unspeakable mystery that brings good fathers and sons into the world and lets a mother watch them tear at each other’s throats.  For the Master of the Universe, whose suffering world I do not comprehend.  For dreams of horror, for nights of waiting, for memories of death, for the love I have for you, for all the things I remember, and for all the things I should remember but have forgotten, for all these I created this painting–an observant Jew working on a crucifixion because there was no aesthetic mold in his own religious tradition into which he could pour a painting of ultimate anguish and torment.”

What a poignant and powerful statement on the symbolism and reality of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Son of God who endured unspeakable suffering for the sins of the world!

A Music Link:  What Wondrous Love Is This by Steve Green

The Harvest Moon

“O LORD, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
You have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!”

“O LORD, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8

This Sunday, September 27 the harvest moon will appear in the sky. It is sometimes called the blood moon. The harvest moon is the first full moon following the autumnal equinox, September 23. This month the full moon will be closest to the earth than any other time of the month making it the largest in appearance and giving it the title supermoon.

If you are fortunate enough to live near the coast, the harvest moon will provide the largest variance in the tides—the high tides being extremely high and the low tides being extremely low.

If you have never seen a harvest moon, then by all means set your calendar to go out and watch it crest on the horizon of the eastern sky. If you have seen a harvest moon, be sure not to miss this supermoon this month. It will appear low in the sky at sunset and be an enormous orange-red ball. The closer to the horizon it is the larger and more colorful it will be.
This year the harvest moon will coincide with a lunar eclipse of the sun making it an especially fantastic astronomical event. And all this can be seen with the naked eye—without any instrument!

Check the internet to see when it will crest in your time zone and to see what the visibility will be in your “neck of the woods”.