No 70 Ascension Day (The beginning of Christianity)
This painting represents the Ascension.
But for some reason after I will mention, the three Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and John, do not write about it.
Only Luke who is Greek wrote about this happening in his book which is reported to Theophilus who is a high-ranking Roman officer.
This happening should be infallible proof as represents He is the Son of God.
However, three Jews disciples did not write it, although they saw it and are there indeed.
Therefore I focus this matter on what I wanted to paint.
First of all, I examined the time state of the disciples. According to the Gospel of Mark,
Jesus who had risen early on the first day of the week appeared to women and some disciples.
And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them.
Later He appeared to the eleven, and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.
Judging from their situation, I could say, they were in a shameful state in front of the Lord.
The reason for their hardness of heart is clear. Because, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying,
gLord will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?h
The eleven disciples desired Jesus as the Son of David who restore the kingdom to Israel stubbornly.
And both differences in a view of salvation were kept going to the time He had up to heaven.
Therefore when Jesus was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight they felt sorrow.
And they felt that they become orphans on the earth, as the Helper the Holy Spirit did not come down upon them yet.
Then they were standing stunned and seeing Him up to heaven without anything to do else.
But John was there with the women and new mother Mary and saw them who miss Him indeed.
The women made a great show of how deeply in love and delighted with Him.
Paul said in his Epistle (Corinthians13-13),
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of three is love.
Therefore John brought his Gospel to an end through an episode in which Jesus asked Peter,h Do you love Meh three times, and Peter said to Him,
gyes, Lord, You know that I love You.h three times.
From this, John understood that love is stronger than the sword so which helped him with his longevity.
Meanwhile, his brother James was killed with a sword for his belligerence. Since that time love is the main theme of Christianity up until now.
Therefore I am featuring the women who loved Jesus in my painting which represents the beginning of Christianity.
Now I will mention Christianity. I said, there is gboth difference in a view of salvationh between Jesus and His disciples.
They needed a realistic savior like David at that time. But Jesus as the Savior was manifested to take away our sins that Adam and Eve did.
And what happened when He had taken up to heaven?
To my sorrow, there is no mention from the parties concerned, but a faithful reporter Luke wrote it in The Act that,
while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said,
gMen of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?
This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.h
Also, Paul said in The First Epistle to the Thessalonians 4-14,
gFor if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.h
Who are those who sleep in Jesus? They are people who believe in God and died before Jesus.
Of course, the head of the line is Adam and Eva who are creatures made by God in their image, and the same for many following them.
They had slept peacefully in Hades where Abraham was there that had separated from prison.
Therefore Jesus who had risen went down to Hades, and there He preached to the spirits who were godless in prison and had gone into heaven with faithful many.
Their sins were gone when they believed in Jesus and followed Him.
Therefore these kings and saints and prophets and other faithful many had redeemed from among people who were in the Old Testament age.
So, I think that was a great Triumphal parade in the glorious light of God. That never happened before on Earth.
So, the young women took their clothes off for getting enough glory and light of God without parallel.
After that Luke said that these all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers.
I think that these all had come together very well under Maryfs leadership as the mother of Jesus.
And their prayer and supplication were the first prayers of Christians that pray by name of Jesus Christ.
That thing was written in Johnfs Gospel as Jesusfs word, gI say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.h
but in the fact that it might be said by Mary herself that I supposed.
To my sorrow as that age was a male-dominated society, Mary and other women were going out of the focus of the Gospel.
But Jesus as God who is almighty made beforehand young John a son of Mary. So, she kept a great influence on the first Christian society through John.
Speaking first of Christian society, do you think how many Christians were there in the city?
Luke said, gAnd in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty).h
I might say, it was very small that could not call society. And now we see a third population in the world is Christians indeed.
They become a big society for two thousand years. And I who the same with them as Christian will introduce to you phrases that impressed me.
That is the last phrase in The Gospel of John. He said, gAnd there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one,
I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.h
John forecasted that believers increase to numerous numbers while the world.
Because, if now every Christian who lived up until now had written their own testimony of Jesus, even the world itself could not contain it indeed.
And I am proud of myself as one of them. By the way, why is Jesus able to influence so many? The only answer is He is living God Himself.
John also said in Revelation that the Lord who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. And now so that also He says from heaven,
gIf you love Me, give your hands to one who is in front of you and wounded.
Because, you do it to one of the least of those My creatures, you do it to Me.h
Surely Lord is living now and looking at us all over the world. Amen!
April 2022@ Oil 980mm~1240mm