Rico Lebrun (Italian/American), “Crucifixion,” ink, 1958. “After Christ was taken down and the Golgotha scaffold scrubbed with whitewash, someone discovered that without the irrelevant trivia of blood and pain, the Cross made a composition of ‘significant horizontals and verticals.’ This meant nothing at all to Mary the Mother. Her sight had been made unsophisticated by experience.” — Rico Lebrun, “Notes on Drawing”
I spent Good Friday and Easter praying and pondering the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. You may not believe that Jesus was Christ, the Messiah, the mortal and immortal made One. I’m not certain I do either. But it cannot be denied that Jesus of Nazareth was a real man who walked the earth in Judea, AD 1-33. You may not believe he rose on the third day, but he was crucified. Both Roman and Jewish written records confirm the fact. It’s history, not fable.
Imagine yourself behind His eyes. What spirit compels a man to surrender himself to agony and death for the salvation of others? Beaten and whipped without mercy. Thorns piercing your scalp. Your skin and flesh ripped from your spine and ribs. The instrument of your murder thrust upon your shoulders, to carry to the scene of your torture and final gasp. In the midst of the cruelty, you plead with your Father to forgive your executioners… “for they know not what they do.”
Lebrun continued, “I still have a hundred versions of the Calvary to do, in the shape of prayer, in all forms and colors; from the imperceptible white of first agony to the ultimate hues which transfigured the gibbet. Repetitive in design, the crosses span the terrain of all experience, repetitive as our zest to nail others with the tongue if not the hammer.”