Sometime between 1574 and 1577, St. John of the Cross was in Avila, Spain. He had a vision of the crucifixion of Christ and later made a drawing of what he saw in his vision. Salvador Dali saw St. John’s drawing and then added his own interpretation in order to make this painting. What I love about this painting, is that if you look closely, you will see that Christ is hanging above the earth and has no nails holding His hands or feet to the cross. He is held there by the love He had for humanity. We are looking down on Him and see Him from The Father’s perspective. You will also see seven mountains below the cross which represent the seven continents, signifying that Christ died for the entire world. In the foreground, there is a boat with men standing by ready to go out as they prepare their nets in order to fish for men.
Of all the paintings I have seen of Christ on the cross, including those dating back several centuries, this is my favorite. To me, it signifies the universality of Christ’s death. As you think about Christ on the cross this week, I hope you will keep this image in your mind also. Remember, it was Love that held Him there.
“Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29