The “Crucifixion” illumination from Luke will be featured in Visio Divina sessions on Wednesday, April 1, at 12:45 p.m. (30 minutes) and 7:00 p.m. (60 minutes) in the Chapel of Christ the Teacher. This Lenten prayer opportunity is sponsored by Campus Ministry and the Garaventa Center. Campus Ministry’s Interactive Lenten Calendar provides this commentary:
Rendered in raised and burnished gold, the crucified figure of Christ dominates this composition. The use of gold conveys the idea of God manifesting himself in his divine love for humanity, represented by the crowd below. Luke’s Gospel recounts that darkness covered the earth for three hours, indicated here by the night sky, and that the curtain of the temple, shown as shreds of purple, was torn in two. The contrast of pain with the glory of gold relates this image to current theological discussions concerning the meaning of the Crucifixion in the contemporary world.
The delicate gray border was printed with English lace, contributing to the recurring theme of textiles in The Saint John’s Bible illuminations.
Throughout The Saint John’s Bible, gold leaf represents the divine. This illumination is awash in it, representing Christians’ belief that Jesus is God. The customary outline of the crucified figure is barely visible. Breaking through the dazzling gilt, we see other elements of the story: on either side the two crosses representing the two thieves crucified alongside Jesus; on the left the moon and stars representing the hours of darkness over the land that coincided with the event; on the right a file of people representing the procession with the cross to Golgotha.
On the facing page in the Bible you will see a scene from the story of the road to Emmaus (right), in which Jesus appeared to two of his disciples.