I love this picture of Jesus holding this man and cannot stop looking at it. It’s called Forgiven and it’s by Thomas Blackshear. For me, it so perfectly captures so much about who we are and Who He is. Our weakness and His strength. Our wretchedness and His glory. Our hopelessness and His faithfulness. Our sin and His love.

The man is so worn and beaten, scuffed, sullied and weak. His legs have given way beneath him. He can no longer go on. Maybe it is despair, maybe it is the weight of sin. But what an incredible, beautiful picture of hope. Jesus is with him. I will never leave you nor forsake you, says the Lord. In our darkest moments, Jesus is present and steadfast and able.

Not only this, but Jesus holds him and sustains him. On his own, this man would be lost, his life in ruins. But when he can stand no more, Jesus stands for him. When he is close to falling, Jesus holds him up. He is so strong and I am so weak.

And look at what is in the man’s hands. This was really poignant for me. In one hand is a mallet, in the other the nail. The nail driven into the very hands that hold him. It is our sin that sent Jesus to the cross to die that unimaginable and horrific death, and yet as undeserving as we are, He loves us and bears with us and is merciful.

*Picture Reference: Forgiven by Thomas Blackshear


3 thoughts on “Forgiven

  1. This image makes me think of Justin and how his body failed him but his spirit lives on. This is exactly how I pictured him that evening last April when he died.

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