The Destruction of Sin

It’s that time again! Time for Halloween! So, to prepare ourselves for Halloween, other than buying tons of candy, I figured I would feature some more macabre religious art! You know… the artwork that reminds us of the evils of sins and the demonic and reminds us about the glories of God and why we should align ourselves with Jesus!

Ready? Here we go!

Our first picture is that of the Great Flood, or, as it’s commonly called in art, the Deluge!

The Deluge, by Francis Danby, c. 1840. Tate Museum, London, United Kingdom.

I actually first found this art when researching for my other blog post The Floodwaters Subside and Thanking God in Times of Disaster. At the time, I was looking for somewhat comforting religious artworks of flooding. Unfortunately, I quickly found out that most of the pictures of the Flood were images of this sort, where the people who were not prepared were drowning!

And there’s a good reason for this! In Christian symbolism, the Flood is one of the most poignant images we have about sin. After all, we believe that God wiped out the earth — save for those on Noah’s Ark — to rid the world of the evil and sin that were ever-present. And that might not sound so bad to us at first. After all, when we are victims of sin and evil, we don’t mind destroying sin and evil. After all, it’s hurting us! Why would we want to be hurt?

Yet, we forget that we are all too often harbingers of sin as well and that we can be capable of so much evil. For instance, it’s easy to think of Hitler as some sort of blip on the radar — a crazy, evil, real-life villain who caused so many people to die. Yet, he was human, just like we are. The only difference is that we may not be as charismatic or as good as organizing our evil.

But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t capable of doing evil. That doesn’t mean that we can’t be guilty of terrible sins. On the contrary! We are very good at sinning and committing acts of evil and depravity. And, according to God, the punishment for sin is death.

And that’s a hard, hard fact to face.

So, the pictures of the Flood are reminiscent of images of Hell, since those who are killed as a result of the Flood are killed because of their sinfulness. In this particular piece of art, the sinners and their families are washed away, even while they cling desperately to anything that they can grab. In the distance, an orange glow in the background indicates the dying of light of the sun as it seemingly falls below the great waters. And an angel weeps over a dead child as they are overwhelmed by the totality of the destruction.

Yet, even in this picture, which is definitely disturbing, there is some hope. Far off in the distance, Noah floats on his boat. He has listened and obeyed God and all of God’s instructions. And for doing so, he and his family are saved from total destruction.

We too have that hope. After all, remember this verse?

NABRE

Romans 6

23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

As long as we follow Jesus and cling to Him, especially when the storms in our own lives are raging about us, we can trust in God and His ability to take care of us.

And even death can’t separate us from God.

Dear Jesus,

Protect us from destruction. Give us the strength to follow You and to “sin no more” as you have asked us all to do.

Amen.

Share this:

Leave a Reply