So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself.
(2 Corinthians 5: 17-19, NRSV)
The Crucifixion is the defining image of Holy Week, and there are many variations to be found in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection. Theologians often use the terms "Atonement," "Salvation," and "Redemption" to explain Christ's death on the Cross, as if the shedding of his blood were a penalty paid in a divine-human legal transaction. The corresponding art tends to dwell on Christ's physical pain and suffering on our behalf. I have chosen a different interpretation of the events of Good Friday, summed up in the Apostle Paul's statement that "in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself." This week's image illustrating the Pascal theme of Reconciliation is an icon by Natalya Rusetska, who counts among the group of Ukrainian Greek Catholic artists in Lviv, showing Jesus suspended on a cross that intersects a sunlit, verdant landscape. In her delicately-rendered vision of this ideal natural world, I see "the new creation" Paul says will come about through the death and resurrection of Christ. This painting (which I have dubbed Green Crucifixion) can be found with other images of Christ's Passion on the New Iconography of Lviv page in the Schools of Sacred Art section. Pray for the Peace of Ukraine! (John Kohan)