April 2011 Prayer and Reflection
From the April 2011 cover of Living with Christ
By Living with Christ Staff
William Brassey Hole (1846-1917) was a highly regarded English artist, illustrator, etcher, and engraver who specialized in painting historical and industrial subjects as well as landscapes. In 1901, he traveled to the Holy Land to begin work on illustrations for his book, The Life of Jesus of Nazareth. Using paints and a Kodak camera, he recorded the places and people to create authentic settings and costumes for the series of 80 watercolors, which he completed in 1905.
Hole captures the atmosphere of the Holy Land in his use of light and colors. In Jesus Raising Lazarus from the Dead, one can actually feel the desolation and darkness of the tomb in sharp contrast to the light into which the dazed Lazarus emerges. We can find ourselves in the characters of Martha, whose eyes are fixed on Jesus; the grief-stricken Mary, who seems not to see what is happening; or the other witnesses, who seem almost paralyzed by the appearance of Lazarus.
If you wish, sit quietly with the picture, and reflect on the following questions:
- What new chance at life is Jesus offering me now?
- Which character best represents my reaction to his offer?
- What do I want to say to Jesus?