Posted in Uncategorized, visual exegesis

Chris Powers: Shall I Not Drink the Cup?

Chris Powers is creating visual resources for the global church. These include artistic renderings of scripture, animations, and his first book, Visual Exegesis, Vol. 1, available on Amazon. These resources also include study guides for use in small groups.

His work is biblical, moving, and expertly rendered. Please take a look at his work at FullOfEyes.com, or on https://www.patreon.com/fullofeyes/posts

Shall I Not Drink the Cup…

Matthew 26:39, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me…”
Mark 14:36, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me…”
Luke 22:42, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me…”
John 18:11, “Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

While reading in John18 this morning I decided to do a quick word search on the Greek work behind “cup” (using biblearc, which is a wonderful study tool).

What was especially moving about doing this was to see that, while it is used a number of times in the Synoptics, the climactic use of “cup” in Matthew, Mark and Luke is always the prayer in Gethsemane. And then the only use in John is the one above. It’s as if in doing the word search I heard the threefold prayer of Christ to the Father: Father, let this cup pass, yet not as I will, but as you will…Abba, let this cup pass, but not my will, yours be done….Father, if it is possible let this cup pass, but your will be done……….and then, the next time we see the word, Jesus is saying, “put away your sword, Peter, shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

The Lord’s hope was not granted to Him….His genuine desire and–I think we must say–genuine hope that, perhaps the cup would pass from Him….this was shattered before His eyes as He saw Judas and the others approaching……the cup would not pass, He would have to drink it to its dregs. And see the love and grace and humility with which He receives the cup! “Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

This is the love of the Savior….it is His love for the Father (14:31), and it is His love for His Church (15:9, 13). Love–the enjoyment and communication of God–Love takes the cup of wrath from the Father and drinks it to the final damning drop. Yes, it is love that does this, love that bears this most horrific of sufferings…..what is stronger than love? As the Song of Songs reminds us, it is strong(er) than death and fierce(er) than the grave, the very fire of YHWH.

Indeed, it is the Fire of YHWH, His love IS the fire of His wrath that would consume all that opposes the communion of His Trinitarian life, and His love IS the fire of Christ’s heart that swallows up and extinguishes the flames of wrath in itself. Love has wrought the greatest work of reality, it has borne the greatest burden, faced the greatest test, endured the deepest hardships……what can steel the soul for war and strengthen the mind to endure and drive the body into torments? Love alone. Love alone….only God known and enjoyed. This is what moved our Lord–after pouring out His soul in pleading that it might pass from Him–to reach up and take the cup of wrath that we deserved and to bear it fully in Himself.

Posted in Uncategorized, visual theology

He Will Glorify Me: By Chis Powers

Chris Powers is creating visual resources for the global church. As an artist, Powers illustrates and animates theological concepts, and along with his explanations based on and in scripture, he presents thoughtful and beautiful tracts, studies, and videos for the brethren to consume freely. His work can be found on fullofeyes.com, and at Patreon under Full of Eyes, and of course Youtube at his channel Full of Eyes.

Here is a recent drawing:

He Will Glorify Me
By Chris Powers

John 16:14-15, “He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine…”

“I was reading through John 16 this morning and was once again struck by the unique role that Jesus tells us the Spirit fulfills. The Spirit glorifies the Son, which is to say, He takes from the fullness of the Son’s glory–from the beauty of who the Son is–and makes that known (With the result that the world is convicted, 16:8-11, and the Church is build up in truth 12-15).”

“So, the Spirit shows us the Son, and the Son shows us the Father–an awesome Trinitarian model of divine self-revelation. And its also interesting to note that the Spirit doesn’t come in His Son-revealing work until after Christ the climactic redemptive work of the crucifixion and resurrection. God’ self-revelation has not reached its climax until the Son has poured Himself out for creation’s redemption on the cross. Supreme redemption serves supreme revelation, and the crucified and risen Son is the one declared to us by the Spirit.”

“For this picture, I also wanted to be clear that the Spirit-illuminated revelation of God in Christ happens primarily in SCRIPTURE. How deadly it is when we go wandering outside the Bible for a definitive revelation of the One True God….it happens in the pages of scripture as the Spirit reveals the glory of God in the Son to His bride”

powers

Posted in Uncategorized, visual theology

Love One Another: By Chris Powers

Chris Powers is creating visual resources for the global church. As an artist, Powers illustrates and animates theological concepts, and along with his explanations based on and in scripture, he presents thoughtful and beautiful tracts, studies, and videos for the brethren to consume freely. His work can be found on fullofeyes.com, and at Patreon under Full of Eyes, and of course Youtube at his channel Full of Eyes.

Here is one of his latest illustrations.

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Artist’s Statement. By Chris Powers.

Love One Another

Jesus’ call to obey His commandment (s) (there are, I believe, two commandments in view when John uses the plural “commandments”, 1) to receive Jesus as the Son and Revealer of God, and 2) to love as He has loved us. I think a strong case can be made that these two commandments are the Johnannine version of the two Great Commandments upon which all commands depend)…So, where was I? Right: Jesus’ call to obey His commandments comes in the context of His call that we abide in Him and His words abide in us (this being, I believe, synonymous with us abiding in His love, v.9). It is only by abiding in Christ–that is, by receiving Him as He declares Himself to us in His words and works–that we will bear the fruit of obedience to His commands, namely, Christ-like love. And this intimate, Spirit-enabled receiving of the Son (which is to receive the Father in the Son) such that God-revealing, Christ-like, self-giving love is born in us–this is the heart of life itself.

So, in today’s picture I tried to show at least two things: First that our love only comes from God’s love in Christ (thus all the branches streaming from the wound). Secondly, that our love is an imaging of God’s love in Christ (thus the fruit borne by cruciform saints).

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Visual Theology: He restores my soul

Chris Powers is creating visual resources for the global church. His resources are free and meant to be shared. Chris creates tract cards, visual exegesis that can be shared separately or through his book Visual Exegesis Vol. 1, study guides and lessons, animations, and more. Please visit his website at fullofeyes.com. He is also on Patreon, and you can donate to his ministry just once or on a recurring basis. He needs $2,000/month to be self-sustaining, and currently the level of giving is $1,947. Won’t you consider being the patron who puts him over the top?

Thank you for reading and if you’re led, sharing his work and/or giving.

Click to enlarge
He restores my soul. He leads me on paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Psalm 23:3-4

Artist’s Explanation: By Chris Powers

I wanted this image to visually express the transition from the pastures into the valley that takes place between verses 2 and 4. The overall color scheme is much darker and the jagged edges of the valley frame the distant pastures in the background.

Verse 3 emphasizes the sovereign leading of the shepherd. It is he who guides and goes before His sheep. This is significant to note because in verse 4 we find ourselves in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. The implication is that the sheep is in the valley because the Shepherd has led him there. And—because the entrance into the valley of shadow is by the design of the Good Shepherd—I wanted to show that the sheep is no less in the almighty hand of his shepherd in verse 4 than he was in verses 1-3. In fact, the sheep’s intimacy and dependency upon the shepherd is only intensified by the valley.

In the pastures the shepherd’s presence and goodness were mediated by the grass and water, but in the valley the mediators have been removed and the shepherd himself has become the desperate and hope-filled focus of the lamb (“I will fear no evil for you are with me.”).

The attacking wolf represents the onset of the valley and its terrors (It need not be only death. The Hebrew word translated “shadow of death” can apply to various grievous and hard to bear sufferings that come as we live life in a fallen world. Sickness, loss, a season of doubt or darkness in the soul might all be categorized under this shadow). The shepherd’s hand on the wolf’s head is intentionally ambiguous. He could either crush the animal’s skull into the ground….or allow it to continue its trajectory toward the lamb. However—whatever the outcome— the hand on the wolf’s head declares the shepherd’s sovereignty over all that befalls his own (John 10:28, 21:19, 22).

The wounds of the shepherd visible behind the head of both the lamb and the wolf declare two different truths. The wound behind the head of the wolf reminds us that Christ’s death and resurrection has overcome all of His people’s enemies and that—should they be allowed to harm His beloved—it will only be to the enemy’s final downfall and His people’s exaltation (John 16:33, Philippians 1:28-29, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-8, Revelation 12:11).

The wound behind the lamb’s head is a reminder that our Lord and God and Shepherd Himself has suffered equivalent to and greater than any suffering He may ordain for us. The hand wounded in sovereign love authors our sorrows, and because He Himself is a slain yet living Lamb, He has infinite compassion on those whom He leads. The shepherd who laid down his life as a lamb is the one who goes before us (Isaiah 49:10, Micah 2:12-13, John 10:4, Hebrews 2:18, Revelation 7:17). And since he has led the way through suffering into glory, He has transformed all of our suffering into an avenue for deeper fellowship with Him, fuller joy in Him, and greater exaltation of Him (2 Corinthians 12:9, Philippians 3:10, 1 Peter 2:21).

Notice also that, if the wolf is to attack the lamb, it must pass the through the cross (represented in the staff). This is yet another reminder that the death and resurrection of our Good Shepherd has “de-fanged” the enemy. Because of Christ’s victory on Calvary, tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword—and whatever else might assail the people of God—cannot separate us from the love of God and, indeed, can only serve our ultimate good and His ultimate glory (Romans 8:28. 31-39).

Lastly for verse 4, I wanted to really emphasize the intimate fellowship with the Savior that often comes in the context of suffering (though it might not feel like it in the moment). First, notice that the lamb is intently focused on the shepherd and that the shepherd’s head is inclined toward the lamb. Though the wolf is slathering and raging, it is not the focus, rather, its onslaught has driven the sheep closer to the master. Second, the light of the two halos forms a sort of quiet, personal space—shared by the sheep and shepherd—amidst the darkness and motion in the rest of the image. And lastly, notice that the distant green pastures and still waters are visible through the face and torso of the Shepherd. The soul-restoring kindness of the shepherd, previously mediated through grass and water, is now accessed directly—and only—through communion with the Shepherd Himself.

In conclusion, I want to point back to verse 3. There we read that YHWH leads His people in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. There is much to say about that statement, but for this image the main thing I tried to emphasize is that the paths into which YHWH sovereignly leads His own are intended to make the goodness and beauty of His Name known to them and to those who observe their lives. This is true even (and especially) of those paths that lead through dark valleys because the Name of YHWH is most perfectly communicated in the death and resurrection of Christ, and when the Christ-follower is led through a time of hardship, the glory of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection is—in a sense—echoed in their lives.

Christ’s love-borne death reverberates in His people’s sufferings as they entrust themselves humbly into the hand of God to do with them what He will for His glory (1 Peter 2:19-21). And the joy of Christ’s resurrection radiates from His Bride’s face as she endures hardship with hopes set, not on the things that are seen, but on the unseen, blood-bought, and resurrection-assured glory that is to come (2 Corinthians 4:14-18).

So, by making the practical implications of Christ’s death and resurrection visually apparent in this image, I am attempting to show that the valley experiences of God’s people bring the crucifixion and resurrection to the foreground and, consequently, glorify the name of our Shepherd and God who is climactically declared at the cross (Psalm 23:3, John 17:26).

Posted in Uncategorized, visual theology

Visual Theology: My Sheep Hear My Voice

Another powerful expression of verse through art by Chris Powers. I found this so moving.

Artist’s Statement:

I went back a chapter in my John reading to Jesus’ discussion of Himself as the Good Shepherd. He talks quite a bit here about His ‘shepeople’ hearing “His voice,” in fact, to hear His “voice” and discern it to be the voice of the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls (1 Peter 2:25) is to prove ourselves to have been one of His own.  Continue reading “Visual Theology: My Sheep Hear My Voice”

Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

What you seek after, you will be conformed to…

Chris Powers of FullofEyes.com creates a picture verse every day. His work in animation, illustration, tracts, and other manner of visual theology (as well as writing study guides to accompany the graphical work) is astounding and encouraging. Here is yesterday’s entry. Please share, his work is free and meant to be shared. If you feel led, contribute on Patreon.

Sharing Destinies

By Chris Powers-

Here’s the picture for today. I’m reading through Revelation as part of my morning times and was struck today by the truth that we will share the destiny of our God (big or little “g”). Humans seemed to be created such that, whatever they worship, they image (theologian GK Beale presents this idea most clearly)….

So, our sanctification (becoming like Christ) is fueled by our beholding and enjoying the glory of God in Christ (2 Cor.3:18), while our “diabolification” is fueled by our beholding and enjoying the God-opposing things of the world (Romans 6:19a, 2 Peter 2:19-20, etc.).

In like manner, we will share the eternal destiny of our God….either the joy of fellowship within the Trinity that has eternal been the gladness of God Himself (John 17) OR the horrors of being eternally an enemy of God, eternally the object of His love’s war against all that opposes the Beloved, aka, of His wrath.

An awesome, hopeful and sobering truth.

So, below are the relevant verses and short explanation.

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Revelation 20 “(10)…the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire…(15) And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Revelation 3:21, “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.”

To our joy or horror, we share the destiny of the one we worship.

Posted in Uncategorized, visual exegesis

Visual Theology: Jesus is the Light of the world

Chris Powers is creating visual resources for the global church. His resources are free and meant to be shared. Chris creates tract cards, visual exegesis that can be shared separately or through his book Visual Exegesis Vol. 1, study guides and lessons, animations, and more. Please visit his website at fullofeyes.com. He is also on Patreon, and you can donate to his ministry just once or on a recurring basis. He needs $2,000/month to be self-sustaining, and currently the level of giving is $1,947. Won’t you consider being the patron who puts him over the top?

Thank you for reading and if you’re led, sharing his work and/or giving.

Here’s Chris’ explanation of the drawing:

This verse picture is drawn from John 8:28 which has HUGE implications for our understanding of God….essentially, Jesus says that His divine identity will be made known to the world WHEN He is lifted up on the cross.

John 8:28, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He…”

When Jesus says that He’s the Light of the World in John 8:12, I think we are to understand that most primarily as Him being the one who communicates God to the world. Why do I say this? Because in John 1:4, we are told that the (eternal) life that has forever been in the Son is the “light” of mankind. So there we see eternal life and light linked.

Well, what is eternal life? Jesus defines that for us in John 17:3, it is to know the only true God and to know Jesus (which, as John 8:19 or 14:9 make clear, is not knowledge of two different beings, but to know Jesus rightly IS to know God). So, eternal life is to know God, and this knowledge of God–John 1:14 says–is the light of mankind / the light of the world.

This is why I say for Jesus to be the “Light of the World” means that He is the revelation of God to humanity. He is the one who communicates God to us. And in John 8:28, Jesus is saying that we will know Him most perfectly as this revelation of God when He is lifted up on the cross….that is where we will know that He is “I Am” (the “he” is added in English texts, the Greek simply says “εγώ ειμι” which is the wording that you’ll find in the Greek Old Testament’s recounting of Moses meeting YHWH at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14).

So–as I hope I will never tire of saying–if we want to know God, we look to His Son, and if we want to know the Son, we look most definitively to the climactic work of revelatory redemption: the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

click to enlarge
Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

YHWH is my Banner

As you head to worship today, if you are reading this on a Sunday, raise your banner of the LORD before you and praise Him, exalt Him, and love Him. If you’re reading this on a weekday, raise your banner of the LORD before you and share His Light in your sphere by your words and deeds.

Chris Powers is an artist, animator, and Bible study writer who makes his products available for free. Please visit his page at fullofeyes.com, or support him on Patreon. Mr Powers is drawing an illustration to a verse per day. I will post them frequently, because they are beautiful, scriptural, and edifying. Visual theology at its beautiful best. Read below for artist’s explanation.

YHWH is my Banner

Mr Powers said:

Today’s verse picture is more of a visual word study (thus the inclusion of verse references within the picture, which I don’t typically do for these). You can take a look at the verses and how they intertwine below:
________

Notice the repeated Hebrew word for Banner/Signal (נס) in the following verses:

Exodus 17:15, “And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, ‘YHWH Is My Banner (נס)” – YHWH as נס

Numbers 21:8, “And YHWH said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole (נס), and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” – Serpent set on נס

Isaiah 11:10-12, “In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal (נס)…[the Lord] will raise a signal (נס) for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel…” – The Messiah as נס raised to gather the nations…

John 3:14-15, “…as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.”

John 3:14-15 unites the imagery of YHWH, the curse, the Messiah, and the beacon raised to gather the nations into one–the crucified Son…

Posted in Uncategorized

Book recommendation: Visual Exegesis, Vol. 1

I would like to call your attention to a book written by Chris Powers, an artist whose ministry Full of Eyes I have recommended to you before. Powers describes the ministry,

Full of Eyes uses still and moving pictures as a means of proclaiming the beauty of God in His Son to the hearts and minds of people around the world.

Powers creates Gospel tracts, animations for music, study curricula to go along with the animations, and now, his book. Here is my Amazon review of the book, Visual Exegesis, Vol. 1

Beautifully rendered, sensitive drawings, June 7, 2016

I recommend Visual Exegesis, Vol. 1 whole-heartedly. Visual exegesis, or visual theology, has been part of our faith since John Bunyan’s “Map Showing the Order and Causes of Salvation and Damnation” was published in 1691. Visual exegesis is simply an image or a collection of images that display in pictorial form, truths from the Bible. Powers makes clear in his introduction what his intent is, which is to approach the Bible with the mindset of a pastor, except instead of exegeting the word with word, to exegete the word with picture, noting that picture doesn’t ever supplant the word.

Doctrinal concepts are difficult to visualize but Powers has done a masterful job of applying picture to even the most abstract of verses. His representation of Jeremiah 17:11 and Genesis 3:15 come immediately to mind. The pictures in his book are arranged by theme, which include Awaiting Immanuel, Behold Your God, Made Alive, Growth, Suffering and Perseverance, and Turning the Title Page, with a total of 35 biblical scriptures pictorially represented. Powers asks the question Can We Draw Pictures Representing Jesus? and offers his interpretation of the Second Commandment on the question in answer.

The drawings themselves are beautifully rendered, sensitive, and in some cases tearfully moving or thoroughly convicting. The book is packaged in a 8X8 dimension, so it’s large enough to examine the pictures in detail but small enough to carry comfortably. Each depiction is accompanied by a thorough written explanation using scripture on the opposite page.

I’ve followed Powers since he founded his ministry and his growth is obviously Spirit-led and solid. His work is outstanding and I look forward to volume 2! I give the book 5 stars for its doctrinal credibility and illustrative beauty.

Portuguese and Spanish versions are coming soon. Powers is committed to offering his work for free. All of it, the animations, tracts, study guides, and this book, are  made available to you at no cost. You may download the book as a free PDF here:
http://www.fullofeyes.com/project/visual-exegesis-vol-i/

However if you choose, you can support FOE by buying the book on Amazon.

Chris Powers photo

Here are some things one can keep in mind as you travel the road of visual exegesis. These bullet points are from Donovan McAbee, at Belmont University, from a class that teaches visual exegesis as a mode of interpretation,

  • How does the artist understand the biblical story?
  • How does the artist’s interpretation of the passage compare to your own understanding?
  • What aspects of the characters or scene does the artist emphasize?
  • Considering the biographical sketch of the artist and the historical period in which they lived, why might they interpret the passage as they do?
  • Compare the differences between the pieces and consider why the various interpretations exist.

The effectiveness of this activity hinges largely on the immediacy of the visual arts in offering an interpretation of a passage. While reading different scholarly sources of biblical criticism will ultimately lead students to recognize the influence of history, theology, and other cultural factors on biblical exegesis, the visual arts do so in a more spectacular and immediately evident way…

[By Elizabeth Prata]

Posted in Uncategorized

We are not of this world

The unsaved man says, I am a good person, it’s just that the world doesn’t give me a chance to show how good I am.

The saved man says, I am no good. I was of the world and the world is evil.

This is why Jesus had to come from elsewhere than this world to save us.

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (John 3:13).

He is not of the world, because if He was of the world, the world would love its own. No earthly ‘savior’ will ever save us. Our hope does not lay in any political leader, any spiritual pioneer, any business innovator, any scientific genius. They are of the world.

When we are saved by His grace, we become not of this world, either. Our citizenship transfers to heaven. And no matter what the world thinks of us, this is a temporary stay. We will all be there, either by death or rapture, we will leave this world and go to where all are good, because we will share in the Righteousness JESUS gave to us.

I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” (Revelation 21:2-3)

By Chris Powers at fullofeyes.com. Free to use. Illustration & verse explanation here