Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
This is an original piece of Chris’ art that he painted on paper. Many of his paintings on paper are precursors to his larger works on canvas, but some remain as a momentary expression on paper. Flipping through these is a glimpse into a very diverse and broad spectrum of what is Chris’ styles, subject matters, and techniques of his paintings. As I look through, I marvel at the breadth of variety and skill that Chris possesses.
This particular image of Cain murdering Abel in Genesis 4 strikes me as reminiscent of a primitive cave painting, and also makes me think of the scene in the movie 300 where young Leonidas is fighting his way through the Agoge. There is something about the primitive, animalistic, carnal act of violence that this passage of scripture depicts that reminds me of that scene in the movie.
It blows my mind to stop and think about this act, from the standpoint of how truly flawed and sinful humanity is without divine intervention. One generation removed from the fall of man, Cain finds enough animosity and hatred towards his own brother to rise up and kill him. On top of that, when GOD asks him about it, he has the audacity to get snippy with a remark like “am I my brother’s keeper?”!
As I pause and reflect on both this painting, and this moment in humanity, I am grateful that it only paints a picture of what humanity is capable of, not what we are bound to. I am grateful that God, in all of his infinite grace and wisdom chose not to leave us to our own devices, suffering in pain, sin, and separation. Today, I am grateful that he himself chose to come down and redeem us. He offers to wash us in his blood so that we can be white as snow, rather than stained and speckled by the blood of our fellow man…