Mark 15-16 That Blessed Nazarene

Death and Reconciliation

Death and Reconciliation

Image – Jocelyn Ward
Mark 15:42-47

This image is an exploration into the way in which the death of Christ brings reconciliation, without resorting to some of the more violent images of atonement that seem to view divine punishment as a necessity. Here instead, we see the shock and grief of faithful humanity as they realise what has been done to Christ, who is God with them. The movement from those in anguish outside to those enfolding Christ’s body in the centre speaks of transformation. The figures on the immediate left and right of Christ could represent Joseph of Arimathea and Mary Magdalene, signifying the reunion of the insider and the outsider, the sacred and the desecrated. These boundaries have been broken down throughout Jesus’s ministry, and the deconstruction continues here at the death of Christ..Below this group of three is a light space, a tomb that is not a tomb. Its elongated shape suggests a womb. The Spirit is represented here by a dove, which was present at Jesus’s baptism, and so bookends the gospel. Above is the temple curtain. I have always found the tearing of this curtain a potent image, in that it tells us we are now free to enter. It is for the whole world, and the hills in the background represent the hills of the Earth.
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