This is an illustration to accompany Michael Zarling's upcoming post in Bread for Beggars. It's a pretty straightforward remix of the central portion of my St. Croix mural. Click this post for video, commentary, and process photos related to that project. While the original mural incorporates a wide range of symbolism, this piece needed to focus on Jesus as the Bread of Life. As Confessional Lutherans we hold the means of grace as central to our relationship with God (namely Baptism, The Lord's Supper, God's Word). We believe that in these sacraments God comes to us in grace and love. Worship is an opportunity to visit with and be visited by God himself. The "Bread of Life" image emphasizes Jesus' seeming paradox of victory in his willing sacrifice. He is shown in a moment and posture of utter defeat, but simultaneously glorious and radiant. His substitution on our behalf was THE turning point for all of humanity, even as it was his utter defeat...temporarily. I have designed the image to evoke this both-at-once mystery. Stalks of wheat surround him referring to the Lord's Supper and the life-giving meal of the Gospel message. Those stalks of wheat radiate from and direct our attention to the ancient scroll from which he seems to emerge. That scroll represents the Word of God and is inscribed with Hebrew text of the protoevangelium-the first promise of a Savior. Some people have asked whether the number of wheat stalks is symbolic. I'm built for visual symbolism rather than logical or rational parallels, so the answer is no. Think more on the timeless nature of "daily bread" and the eternal implications of such a daily need. Besides "The Bread of Life" Jesus is also referred to as "The Word". The original St. Croix painting also includes symbolism related to Jesus as "the Vine" and "the Living Water".
The St. Croix mural is shown below. It's 15 feet wide and with textured paint, gold leaf, super vibrant colors, and good lighting...it really should be seen in person.