"Behold, the Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world!"
John, the Baptizer, upon seeing Jesus
My friend, Deborah Mrantz, challenged me in a email. She wrote, 'Have you considered doing something (visually) with Abraham?' So, while driving, this came to me-
I imagined a series of three images- A knife, thorns and a ram's horn.
I roughed out a quick version on corrugated paper-
God Will Provide The Lamb
Oil on Corrugated Paper
The layers within the Hebrew language run deep, forming a network that both inspires and defies human comprehension. Within the verses of text the individual words speak; within the words the individual characters have a voice.
In Genesis, chapter 22, Abraham and his son Isaac are climbing a mountain when Isaac asks, "Where is the lamb for the sacrifice?" Abraham replies,
"God will provide the lamb."
In my minds-eye I saw the Hebrew lettering for 'the lamb' amidst the thorns, between the knife and the horn. It was as I painted these characters that I focused on their nature as letterforms. The expression 'the lamb' is constructed with three characters:
The two outer characters are both the letter Hey, making the sound of a breath:
Originally, the character symbolized two outstretched arms.
The character says, 'Behold!'
During a Jewish wedding ceremony, the couple whispers to each other, "Behold (hey), I will try with all my being to be present for you."
(from The Book of Letters by Rabbi Lawrence Kushner).
The name of the character in the center of 'the lamb' is
To the ancients, the character symbolized teeth, meaning to devour or consume.
As I meditated on the letters and their meanings, 'the lamb' became pictured to me hebraically as sin, enclosed, consumed and destroyed between the outstretched arms of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit-
the three-in-one God who promises, with all His being, to be present for me.