Follow The Republic:
Back in 1973, Karl Menninger wrote a book titled “Whatever Became of Sin?” An odd title for a book by a noted psychiatrist.
Menninger asked himself and his readers this question as he pondered the moral, social, environmental and spiritual decline of our nation. It’s a great question and one that still needs to be addressed.
Whatever became of sin? Let me, in some small way, attempt to answer this question.
Sin is still around, and it is still deadly. Its name has been changed. Now sins are labeled as alternative lifestyles, choices, personal preferences or your truth and my truth. But changing the name of something doesn’t change what it is, nor does it change its effect on a person.
You can call Drain-O Kool-Aid, but that doesn’t make it less deadly if you drink it.
Yes, sin is alive and well and working its deadly influence on our lives. The following story — I’m not sure if it is true — that I heard told several years ago, illustrates this clearly.
Leonardo Da Vinci took seven years to paint his famous painting of the Last Supper. He decided he would start the painting with the central character of Jesus.
He spent months before he began painting Jesus searching for just the right person to model. It had to be someone whose face showed innocence and purity.
After a search of the city, he finally found a young man of 19 who had the purest face he could find. For six months this man would come to the master’s studio and pose for Da Vinci.
After spending six months painting Jesus, Da Vinci went on and painted each of the other disciples using different models.
The last one to be painted was Judas.
Six-and-a-half years after the painting was started, the search began for a man to model for Judas.
Again the master had a very specific image he wanted — someone calloused and hardened.
Person after person was brought in, and no one fit the bill.
Finally someone told Da Vinci that there was a prisoner at the jail who might work, a 26-year-old man who was set to be executed for his crimes.
Arrangements were made for Leonardo to meet this prisoner.
The prisoner had the look the painter wanted — hard and calloused. Da Vinci arranged for the man to have a temporary stay of execution until he had finished his masterpiece.
Each day the man was brought to the studio by the guards and Da Vinci painted. After six months, the painting was complete, and Da Vinci told the guards they could return the man to prison and go ahead with his execution.
During the past six months the man had not said much to the master painter, but now he fell at his feet and cried out. “Mr. Da Vinci, don’t you know me?”
“No, I can’t say that I do,” replied the master.
“I’m the man! The model you used for Jesus!”
And so he was. The man, who at 19 had such purity and innocence in his face, now six-and-a-half years later was hardened and calloused.
He had gone out into the world and experienced sin, committed crimes, and it was now etched all over his face.
The Rev. Rick Glowacki is lead pastor at Columbus First Assembly. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!
Note: All comments left on our sites are first reviewed by an automated comment moderation system. Your comment may take up to 5 minutes to appear. If for any reason your comment can not be approved you will receive an email from this system with a detailed explanation.
All content copyright ©2013 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.