“Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.” (Hebrews 3:1)
The motif of Jesus as high priest is common enough in Christian theology but not so common in Christian art. In looking for images that could fire the Christian imagination I came across the painting to your left, but unfortunately I have not been able to identify who the artist is, other than whoever it is seems to be American. If you know, let me know, but either way take some time to meditate on this motif of Jesus as mediator between humanity and divinity.
Here’s my lastest Christian art find:
“He Is Risen” – Carol Manasse, 2005.
Carol writes: “This painting portrays the crucified, risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ. The lower third depicts the captive souls snatched from the flames per Ephesians 4:8. The upper third portrays the ascended Christ per the vision of the Apostle John in Revelations chapter 1.”
I think it tells the story very effectively don’t you?
One of the shifts that has been interesting to observe over the last decade has been the morphing of “New Age” millennialism into “Ascension” spirituality.
As the millennium came and went without a Nuclear holocaust (but with the emergence of franchised terrorism instead) and as the post-modern paradigm shift washed over us without worldwide religious unification (but with the emergence of religious identity politics instead) I remember watching how the dreams of millennial utopianism receded from popular consciousness and how the “New Age” hope slowly but surly vanished from discussions about “Spirituality”.
But in the wake of this some interesting things happened.
Some New Agers gave up on spirituality altogether, some switched to alternatives (like Wicca and Western Buddhism), many just kept consuming spirituality related trinkets without any overarching metaphysic we could coherently put a name on, but others set about reframing the New Age hope into something similar, but different. A hope, not for a public inbreaking of a new historical era, but for a private translation into a new metaphysical dimension. Something called “Ascension.”
In some ways this shift is not unlike the way Gnosticism emerged after Christianity back two millennia ago, though in that specific case it was the former that had more staying power. But I think it has potential to shed some light back in the other direction. So I have been keeping track. Here are a few links I have collected:
The Ascension Network
What is Ascension
Ascension and Ascended Masters