OXFORD ART FEATURE
THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD - WHO IS KNOCKING?
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.
Revelation 3:20 THE BIBLE
The Light of the world draws many visitors to stand in front of it where it hangs in the chapel at Keble college, Parks Road, Oxford.
Holman Hunt began painting The Light of the World at the age of 21. Only when he travelled to Bethlehem in Israel and captured a perfect ‘dawn light' did he complete his masterpiece 8 years later.
On his canvas he depicts Jesus, early in the morning, knocking outside a closed door - a door with no external handle. Jesus stands, crowned with thorns (a symbol of sin), carrying a light in His left hand, while a second light, the Morning Star, forms a glowing ball behind His head. The Scripture verse under the painting reads, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” Rev 3:20.
WHAT DOOR IS HE KNOCKING ON?
It is the door of the human heart. The lantern is the light of conscience and the light around Jesus’s head is ‘the light of salvation’. It is the door of the unbeliever’s heart overgrown with ivy (a symbol of their unbelief), determined to keep Jesus outside of their thoughts and lives. Why do men and women want to shut Jesus Christ out? The Bible supplies the answer:
“men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19. Today the living Christ knocks at your heart’s door. He demonstrated His great love when He suffered and died for our sins on the cross. Then He rose from the dead - He is alive today! As you read this leaflet, He comes to you again, knocking at your heart's door - but, here's the big question, will you let Him in?
There are many doors in life. The door of education may open great opportunities for you. The door of sport may bring you fame or the door of business, fortune. Even the door of religion seems to have much to offer. But these doors will finally disappoint you in the end. The door in Holman Hunt's painting is your heart's door. Is it open to Christ, or is it shut by sin and rebellion? Today, listen to His gracious voice, repent of your sin and respond in faith to Christ!
If Jesus Christ is still outside when you die then God must judge you for willfully rejecting Him as your Lord and Saviour. There is no door out of Hell. It is final.
Today respond to His knocking and receive salvation through faith in Jesus Christ who said:
“I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12
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Searching for meaning in life is evidence we are more than atomic molecules in a randomly created universe. We are souls seeking for truth and happiness which is often defined by getting what we want and hearing what we like! But truth means we must accept things that are not always the way we want. An unpleasant diagnosis from the doctor may be true therefore we must seek a cure. But where does our search for happiness end?
Any news feed will show the world’s desire to pursue it’s own way has resulted in a corrupt world searching for answers in politics and scientific theories that never answer the big questions. The bible deals with the big issues!
The Gospel is good news but it’s diagnosis is painful and that is why many turn away. God tells us that we all have sinned and despite outward differences every heart is the same, going it’s own way not Gods. God’s standard for measuring ‘good’ is Jesus Christ. He is sinless. Jesus said if we reject Him we will die in our sins and cannot go where he is, - Heaven. God hates sin but loves the sinner. The Gospel is not a man-made religion.
Religion focuses on what WE can do to be right with God but the Gospel places ALL value in what Jesus Christ did when He died for our sins and rose from the dead. Repentance means turning from my sin and placing my faith in Jesus Christ. Then God forgives me and saves me. I will never be in Hell and sure of Heaven. It’s time to repent!
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Acts 16:31
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