The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
God’s Promise ~ God’s Plan
The Story of the Image
The image of God’s Promise ~ God’s Plan, honoring the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, was given to an acolyte serving at a Mass at a California parish on March 16, 2019 in celebration of the Second Sunday of Lent.
The image was given as the priest was consecrating the Precious Body and Blood of Christ. The acolyte was kneeling at the foot of the altar, assisting with the incensing of the altar at the moment of the Consecration of the Host. The elevated Body of Christ, held high by the priest, was in front of a most stunning, near life-size crucifix of our Lord on the church icon wall when the image was imparted. The understanding of the image and inspirations for the painting were further refined over several visits to a perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapel.
The words “God’s Promise ~ God’s Plan” are central to tying together two symbols that are important to all Christians: the rainbow and the crucifix, both of which have been abused by people who have little understanding of Sacred Scriptures.
The final meaning of the image was revealed after hearing the Gospel reading for the Feast of the EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS (September 14th).
The image is of Jesus the Christ, brutalized by man and mounted on an instrument of torture and death, at the moment he is about to give up His spirit. To man, it is an ignoble end, but to God it is the fulfillment of a promise made, through Jesus exalted on His earthly throne – the Crucifix, the Cross of Salvation!
The floodwaters that Noah and his family survived were the precursor to the Baptismal Rite that all must experience to remove the burden of Original Sin from the soul. God’s promise, as sealed with the rainbow, was to do more than just remove the sin of Adam and Eve. God’s promise was to offer salvation to us so we can enter into Heaven for eternity. It is only through Baptism and the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ that the gift of salvation is fulfilled for humankind.
The image of God’s Promise ~ God’s Plan could only be created in art by someone who has both the gift of painting and an understanding of the Passion of Christ. While the vision was given to one, it had to be conveyed to another with only words and gestures. Fortunately, the artist had the ability to hear and “see” the image as it was described and thus put the details onto the canvas.
Prayer, reflection, and reliance on the Holy Spirit helped to bring all the elements of the image together. There is no real way to make a completely accurate representation of the image given at the foot of the altar, especially since the acolyte was not focusing on every detail. It was too overwhelming to “see” the details of every scourging wound, or the color of the ground or sky. The brilliance of the Cross, the presence of the rainbow, the clarity of the words, and the expression of determination on our Lord’s face are the elements that all are called to experience. The details provided by the artist help to frame these essential elements.
When looking at this image, may you be blessed with stirrings in your soul and conversion of heart to truly believe in the desire of God to have you to yearn to be with Him in Heaven. May you come to understand that God’s Promise ~ God’s Plan is for each of us to see the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ as the true throne of God on Earth before we see His full glory in Heaven.
Peace in Christ!
The following scriptures illustrate “God’s Promise – God’s Plan” and are used by permission from the New International Version.
God said, … I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. … Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth. (Genesis 9:12-16)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” (Galatians 3:13)
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4-5)
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:19-20)
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself. (John 12:32)
See, my servant will act wisely, he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. (Isaiah 52:13)
For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2b)
So the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:14b-16)
© 2020 by a member of Good News Ministries who wants to remain anonymous