NYDEGGER: Jesus’ “stripes” healed us for the glory of God | Religion

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What is black and white and black and white and black and white?

No kidding, it’s Siena Cathedral.

This Tuscan treasure, located atop the highest point in Siena, Italy, is striped outside and inside with alternating bands of greenish-black and white marble.

It is not an optical illusion, but an architectural tribute to the symbolic colors of the city, black and white. The medieval “Duomo di Siena” (its Italian name) is almost 800 years old.

Built on the site of a 9th-century church, construction began in 1215 and ended in 1263. For a bit of sober color, the builders accented the facade with red marble.

Tuscan Romanesque architecture combined with Gothic ornamentation give this Cathedral of Santa Maria, built in the shape of a Latin cross, a visually stunning exterior. A golden lantern, resembling the sun, crowns the structure’s hexagonal dome. The adjacent 252-foot-high striped spire, containing six bells, adds to the beauty of the building.

Her inner beauty also dazzles. Magnificent striped columns rise from the floor halfway up to the ceiling to support large arches. Resting on these arches, the ribs of the massive vaulted roof crisscross from side to side, surrounded by stained glass to let God’s natural light shine upon man-made art. Frescoes, sculptures and panels by renowned Italian artists Donatello, Bernini, Giovanni, Piccolomini and many others adorn the structure.

Not to be overshadowed, the marble mosaic floor is also majestic. Fifty-six inlaid panels, depicting scenes from the Old Testament and other historical events, transform the cathedral floor into a work of art.

There is nothing clear about the striped “Duomo” of Siena.

There was nothing extraordinary in the life of Jesus. This was one of the reasons why many Jewish religious leaders and most ordinary Jews rejected the idea that he was their prophesied and long-awaited Christ.

They made fun of Jesus because he was from Nazareth. Jewish scholars knew that the Scriptures predicted that their Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, just outside of Jerusalem. They believed that their Christ would enter the holy city and the temple of God with pomp and appearances as befits a king. They concluded that God would surely have nothing to do with Nazareth, a hinterland town without a reputation and Jesus’ hometown.

Perhaps they should have asked him where he was born rather than assuming that he had always lived in Nazareth!

The Jews demeaned Jesus and his family members, suggesting that they had nothing special, that they would never be members of the royal family.

“Isn’t that the carpenter’s son?” Isn’t her mother called Marie? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And aren’t all her sisters with us? (Matthew 13: 55-56).

In other words: “Jesus, we know your family. You are not king! Far from it! ”In fact, religious leaders have insinuated that he was illegitimate by birth and possessed by a demon (eg John 8:48), hardly the kind of person they believed God would be associated with. They regarded him as a deceived aspiring Messiah.

Jesus rejected popularity and acclaim during his ministry. He often frequented the sick, the sick, the infirm and the poor. He taught women, prostitutes, Samaritans and the “dregs” of Jewish society.

“Why is your teacher eating with tax collectors and sinners?” His disciples were questioned (Matthew 9:11). Intimation? That God would never allow His Messiah to associate with that kind of outcasts and scoundrels.

On another occasion, a religious leader said to himself sarcastically, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who touched him and what kind of woman she is – that she is a sinner.” ).

However, Jesus was not an impostor or a setter. God never wanted his Son to be a political king, a military hero, or a social beginner. Writing 600 years before the birth of the Messiah, the prophet Isaiah predicted details about the Messiah.

“He had no form or majesty that we should be looking at, and no beauty that we should desire. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and accustomed to pain; and as one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we did not esteem him. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the chastisement that brought us peace was upon him, and by his stripes we were healed. (Isaiah 53: 2-3, 5). “

At the end of his ministry, Jesus was scourged (leaving stripes) and crucified. Three days later, he rose from the dead, proving that, regardless of what one thought, he was indeed the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed and the Son of God.

Quoting Isaiah, the apostle Peter gave the essence of the gospel in 1 Peter 2:24: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. . By his wounds (scratches) you were healed.

Were you crucified with Christ by baptism into his death, burial, and resurrection? Have his stripes become yours? Have you been spiritually healed?

Gregg Nydegger is the evangelist at the Church of Christ in Monticello.


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