The Last Supper

   Dad wrote this in his New Testament…. 
   “This is a replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper. This masterpiece took over seven years to paint. The extra ordinary story behind this masterpiece is astounding. Leonardo felt that he should use living persons as his models since this was to be such an important picture. He started with the painting of Christ. Hundreds of young men were studied to find a man who’s face portrayed innocence and beauty. After a long search he found a man whom he felt could portray Christ. The painting of Christ took six months. When he was done with Christ, it took 6 more years to paint the disciples until all were completed accept one. That one was Judas. To find someone who looked like Judas was a problem. After a long discouraging search, da Vinci heard of a man in prison in Rome who was sentenced to die for his brutal crimes.
   Leonardo went to Rome where the prisoner was brought before him. He saw in this man who’s face was ugly and vicious – scarred and full of hate. He knew immediately that this was the man he wanted to represent Judas, the Savior’s betrayer.
   By special permission from the king, the person was brought to Milan to pose for da Vinci at appointed hours each day. Finally the gifted artist finished his painting. As the guards were taking the prisoner away, he broke loose. Rushing to da Vinci, he gasped and said, “Look at me!!!”: “Do you not know who I am?!” With his sharp, piercing eyes, da Vinci looked at the man and said, “I do not know you. I never saw you until you were brought to me in Rome.”
   Then the man lifted his head towards heaven and cried, “Oh, God… have I fallen so far?!” 
   Then he turned and said, “Leonardo da Vinci, Look at me again!!!” “I’m the same man you painted only seven years ago as the figure of Christ.”
   This was copied by dad when he was in Calgary, Alberta while visiting a member of the church and he happened to glance through the Family Bible. 
   People change… sometimes for the better…sometimes not. Jesus warned against this since we don’t know what is in the heart of man. Marshall Keeble once said, “I’m not a judge… I’m a fruit examiner.” It might do us better if we just examine the fruit as opposed to judging based our feelings or ‘think-so’s’ or on what someone else says. The way we judge others will come back to bite us as we will be judged the same way (Matthew 7).
   Fact is, we just don’t know what’s in the heart of man… but Jesus does. Paul later instructs us to be careful when dealing with Christians who fall or sin… Helping, restoring… with a spirit of gentleness demands a spiritual heart. The danger? Who knows… somewhere down the ‘time-line’  you also may fall…. 
   Falling is not usually done over night… it happens ‘bit by bit’ and step by step in the wrong direction. Beginning in the heart (Matthew 5:27-28), which is just as bad as the ‘real thing’ only to find that ‘thoughts not taken captive for Christ’ have taken to root and produced a plant that bears bitter fruit… You may not even recognize yourself.
   Thank God for His love, grace and forgiveness… Thank God for a Savior who even washed the feet of Judas… and accepted cursing, denying, Peter. Thank God for a Savior who  was patient with his disciples then… and now… 
   The was once two who came to worship God. One was a Pharisee and the other a Publican. The Pharisee prayed and said, “O God, I am so grateful I am not like this Publican.” The Publican would not even look towards heaven, but hit himself on his chest, and cried, “Oh, God be merciful to me a sinner.” Just like the man who posed for Jesus AND Judas…. “Oh God… Have I fallen so far?!”
   Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved (saves) a wretch like ME….Praise God for His matchless grace… Amen walls!!!

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