Anglican Morning Devotion, 21 March 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“ Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. 21 And as they did eat, he said, “Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.” 22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? 23 And he answered and said, “He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.” 24 “The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, “Thou hast said.” Gospel of St. Matthew 26:20-25
In da Vinci’s Last Supper, Christ is the central figure via ‘point-perspective.’ All the lines on the floor, ceiling and wall converge to a point of meeting in infinity directly behind the heart of Christ. If extended outward, they construct an infinite plane whose center is the heart of Christ. Christ Himself is depicted with His left hand reaching, palm upward, to receive the Bread of Life; but the right hand of action is extended palm down toward the inevitable cup of the wrath of God in sin. He would prefer (as we all would do) to live and forego this terrible death, but, nonetheless, He reaches to grasp the Cup of His Suffering. Can you see His Beauty and Strength of Love in this, my friend? I do not know if we ever shall be able to fully comprehend this one thing.
Who would dare claim that the work of da Vinci was not touched by divine inspiration? He was seven years in painting the Last Supper mural on the walls of the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy. This art piece went a step further than all previous works of art in several categories. For example, this painting captures, not only da Vinci’s best sense of the scene in the Upper Room, but also an instant in time – the moment that Jesus said, “One of you shall betray me!” (John 13:21) The shock and surprise on the faces of the Apostles is remarkable. They wondered “Is it I?” demonstrating that man knows not his own heart, but God does! Furthermore, da Vinci employed a new technique called “Point Perspective.” All lines on the floor and ceiling converge to a point in Eternity just behind the Mind of Christ. Due to this perspective, all eyes (as da Vinci intended) cannot help being drawn directly to Christ at first glance. How many artist of our day are capable of such thought and meaning? Instead, in our day, devolution of beauty is the object instead of evolution of it. Degeneracy is the goal, and not the beauty of God’s Creation. Satan is very busy in every field of art, isn’t he?
The life of every Christian should be like the Last Supper Painting of Da Vinci. All the lines of our lives – our thoughts, our actions, our words, even habits of dress and conduct – should converge in the heart of Christ. Though we value the gift of life with which the Lord has graced us; and though we would prefer not the cup of persecution and tribulation that are the marks of the Christian life, we must, nonetheless, receive the same cup of sacrifice from which the Lord drank and that He resolved to receive at that Last Supper.
Our hearts should be under a constant self-examination and recommitment to our Lord. “Is it I? Have I betrayed my Lord in the testimony revealed by every avenue of my life? “Is it I?” Have I denied the Lord by, not only my outward exclamation, but my silence in speaking out on His behalf and for His glory? “Is it I? Have I been ashamed to admit my faith in Him before friends or strangers. Our silence of faith will sound with the thunder of a cannon at the last judgment.
Perhaps, like the one who received the sop at the last supper, you have claimed to be a disciple of Christ. You may have walked with Him from Galilee to Tyre – from Samaria to Jerusalem. You may have witnessed the power of faith, but never received the Redeemer, Savior and Lord as the Throne of your heart. It is one thing to be found in a church of believers but yet be one completely devoid of faith and belief. You may be as the Scribes and Pharisees – a hypocrite which, in the Greek, means a play-actor.
Beware that you are not a spiritual liberal at the last day: “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:” “And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” Matthew 25:32-34