Working on a new painting that is a big departure from my regular work is very daunting. I have never before done such a large scene combining historical and modern references. The foreground and the background are taken from "Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin c. 1842. The crowd in the middle ground are members of my parents church as photographed by Christine Maynard.
I wanted to have a Modern crowd to make the painting more than just a straight copy, and to emphasize our personal role in this Bible story. We can place ourselves in the midst of this crown welcoming Jesus and let it serve as a warning as we think of the turn in behavior that the crowd displays during the following week as their expectations were not met in the way they had imagined. This crowd was looking for an immediate kingdom and not the spiritual kingdom that Christ offered. How often do we grow frustrated at the spiritual growth Christ desires of us, wanting immediate changes in our situation instead.
When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.