They Clasped His Feet
Updated: Apr 21, 2020
A friend challenged me to do a painting for Easter. I was at first at a loss as to exactly what to paint. What came to mind were the traditional Easter Bunny, eggs, candy, fake grass, baskets, and all the trappings we've managed to add to the season to make it pretty and happy for everyone. It doesn't help that I work for a retailer that really pushes the seasonal decorations and other consumables. I'm pretty burnt out on the stuff by the time the actual celebration gets here. Don't forget the traditional dinner with glazed ham, etc. If I were to try to make the painting more "religious," I would need to probably depict a pretty cross with Easter lilies and perhaps an open Bible or hymnal in the foreground. Don't get me wrong. I'm not against these things nor do I condemn or shame anyone who likes them. I like celebration, good food, and beauty. I just really wanted to try to get to the core of the celebration.
Roman crucifixion was anything but pretty. As the punishers of their era, it was their job to administer brutal executions. They weren't concerned with making it humane or with whether or not capitol punishment was right. However, I didn't want to do a gruesome or shocking painting, either. My main objective here was to focus on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and his complete victory over sin and death. To me there is one bit of Scripture that encapsulates the pure joy of this realization, but it is not understood completely by itself. It needs to be taken in within context and as it relates to the whole of Scripture. Matthew 28:9 reads, "Suddenly Jesus met them. 'Greetings,' he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him." This isn't just a random verse. To get the context, read verses 1-10. See also Luke 23:50-24:12. Remember they were eyewitnesses of Jesus' death. You know it when someone is really dead, not just unconscious or in a coma. They felt the finality of death, just like we have. Yet, these two women were the first to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. They were some of the ones who were there when he died and who prepared to care for his lifeless body after his burial. They knew full well how totally dead he was.
No one could stifle their complete joy. It gushed out in full expression when they clasped his feet. "Feet clasping" may not be something we do in our culture, but here it clearly communicates complete adoration of the risen Savior. These verses show that the women were already believing when they met Jesus. Encountering him in person was the confirmation of their belief. Though I cannot adequately depict this glorious event with paint and canvas, it has been my attempt to focus on the pure joy of this moment that radiates out through all time and space.
I want to thank Brittany Centers for giving me this challenge. I'd also like to thank Luke McLean and Vicki McLean for graciously being my models. This has been a rich experience and I hope others may enjoy the result.