How can 3,000 coat hangers cause us to look at Lent in a new way?
Some may think, ‘Oh, it’s Lent again. time to give up chocolate or something else!’ It’s easy to walk into Lent with our eyes closed to the full significance of its meaning.
And that’s the value of art - even art that may shock. So I want to challenge you with this sculpture called ‘Die Harder’ by the Turner Prize nominee David Mach currently on display at Southwark Cathedral.
Now when I posted this photo on my Facebook wall it received mixed reactions. But then that is the nature of art - it is meant to provoke a reaction:
‘I am appalled by the fact that any church would allow this in its doors!’
‘I think it's amazing : He was pierced for our transgressions... Whilst we know he was physically pierced just hands, feet and side, this powerfully portrays the totality of his suffering - raw agony and abandonment.’
‘A lot better than a lot of crucifixion art that sterilises a horrific execution’
‘It is amazing! It depicts just how much He suffered. Every part of His body was in agony- shown very well with the spikes!’
Personally, I think it is a realistic depiction of excruciating pain and am finding it a helpful focus at the beginning of Lent. It’s shocked me out of any complacency I might have and has immediately focused me on the point of Lent - the agonising death Jesus suffered for me. It puts all my pain and suffering into perspective. And the more I study this sculpture the more I find God speaking to me through it.
* What is your reaction to seeing Christ portrayed as a tormented figure howling in pain?
* What scriptures does it bring to mind?
* Now spend some time thanking God for his ultimate sacrifice for you in Jesus Christ. You could even write a thank you note.
‘But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.’ Isaiah 53:5 NLT