19th April 2019

Il Divino

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his unique Son so that everyone who believes in him might not be lost but have eternal life.”
Romans 5:8 (ISV)

A single slab of marble some 19ft tall and weighing about 12 tons was hewn from a quarry in Carrara in Tuscany, Italy. The colossal block was shipped by boat to the city of Florence where the sculptor Agostino di Duccio was tasked with carving from it a statue of the biblical hero, David. The sculptor began to roughly carve the feet and legs but he abandoned the project as being too difficult after finding flaws in the marble. The block remained rejected for 12 years before another sculptor, Antonio Rossellino took on the challenge; but he also found it too difficult to work with and gave it up as worthless. Subsequent tests have shown that the marble was of mediocre quality and contained microscopic holes and veins which may have threatened the stability of the colossal statue. The partially disfigured marble block was abandoned and left exposed to the elements for a further 25 years before the genius, Michelangelo, took up a commission to finish the work. Michelangelo was able to work around or chisel out the flaws to produce what is recognised as a masterpiece of renaissance sculpture.

Michelangelo’s view of sculpture was that he laboured to free the figure, born in his mind, from the confines of the marble block. But there is perhaps more to this statue than meets the eye—inadvertently the sculpture seems to represent David in more than just its outward appearance; it has internal flaws and imperfections in its very make up just as the biblical David had flaws in his character. David is not alone in this respect; we all have good and bad points, strengths and imperfections.

In his lifetime, because of his talents and abilities, Michelangelo was often called Il Divino, the divine one. The Easter period has a message from another Divine One, a message of hope for us all now and in the future, as summarised in the opening scripture. We need not be lost and are not rejected or considered too difficult to work with, or worthless because of our individual imperfections. God knows what we are really like but has demonstrated unconditional love for each one of us. Love involves forgiveness, we cannot reverse what we have done in the past but misdemeanours can be forgiven. God sees beyond our flaws to what, with his help, we can become.

Perhaps this Easter we can all pause from our busy lives and take time to contemplate on the real meaning of Easter, a personal message of hope in a world that seems to be increasingly dominated by hopelessness.

Father, we thank you for your grace, and that you see beyond our flaws to what we can become through Jesus Christ.

Study by Eddie Marsh

About the Author:
Eddie Marsh attends Grace Communion International in Sheffield.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Sheffield
The Source Training & Conference Centre
300 Meadowhall Way
S9 1EA

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Email: sheffield@gracecom.org.uk

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One Response to “19th April 2019”

  1. Ian Woodley on April 19th, 2019 6:25 am

    Hi Eddie, that’s a brilliant analogy. Thank you for another great article.

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