The WORD Collection
The WORD Collection
This is an ongoing collection. The Bible has been the most influential book in my life. In good times and bad, the Words in the Bible have offered me hope, inspiration, direction, comfort and more. The God of the Bible, Jesus, offers me inspiration to be like Him. Take Him out of my life and you will find a Suki that’s not Suki at all. So, it’s must be no surprise that most of my paintings are inspired by God and His Words in the Bible. This collection aims to bring an artistic impression of some of the famous characters and stories in the Bible. The collection is mostly done with watercolors and ink
This is my favorite story from the Bible. When the story of Jesus seemed to have ended, His tomb sealed by the Roman soldiers, a group of women went on early Sunday morning to embalm his body. They had no idea how to roll the stone but they were so filled with passion for their Lord, that logic didn’t matter. They stepped out in faith, early in the morning. The 11 disciples that Jesus left behind, were hiding and these women went out despite the danger of being arrested. To their amazement, the stone was already rolled over and the tomb was open and they were greeted by an angel. Fast forward, Mary Magdalene lingered in the garden of the tomb, looking for her Savior. She was grief stricken, and couldn’t understand what all of this meant. Moments after that, she came face to face with Jesus. How could it be? She had seen him taken down from the cross, wrapped in grave clothes and laid in a tomb. How could it be? Her Savior had indeed conquered death. His words, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” was finally coming true. When Jesus commissioned her to carry the message of His resurrection to his disciples, she did! She ran as fast as she could and told them what she had experienced. She had become the first witness to the resurrection of Jesus. A woman, a nobody in those days. Her witness wouldn’t even stand in the courts, and yet, that’s whom Jesus picked. And she remained faithful to the message entrusted to her. She witnessed, risking her life, risking her reputation, risking everything she had, because she had witnessed the resurrection! It was no ordinary event. It was worth everything she had. The resurrection still isn’t an ordinary event. When we recognize that, it should change everything in us. Does it? If no, then maybe, we need a fresh revelation of what the resurrection means.
Up The Mountain
So Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered it. The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered it, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud. To the Israelites, the glory of the Lord looked like a raging fire on top of the mountain. Moses entered the cloud as he went up the mountain. He stayed on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights. Exodus 24:15-18Moses was instructed to go up the mountain to meet with God. The trek wasn’t easy but God instructed and Moses followed through. Even today, God calls us to meet with Him. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, our encounters with God doesn’t require a trek to the mountain top because the moment we put our trust in His sacrificial death to make us right with God, the Spirit of God makes us His dwelling place. We no longer need to climb a mountain to encounter God. Instead we enter the secret place, with just God. It can be any ordinary place where you and God can meet. And when we enter the secret place with him, He still talks and stays with us. Do you have a secret place with God?
Thomas, was the disciple who doubted the resurrection of Jesus. He said he wouldn’t believe Jesus was indeed risen unless he put his hands into the nail pierced hands and into the wound on the side of the Resurrected Christ. His words got him the name “doubting Thomas”. The Resurrected Christ did not let go of him, instead Jesus met with him in the company of other disciples and permitted him to test his hands and side and believe. Jesus, the restorer of faith, restored Thomas to Himself and stood by him through his doubt. The disciple immediately believed. His faith was fully restored to the point that he left the comfort of his known country and set sail to a foreign land, India. He was an eye witness of the Resurrected Christ and could no longer keep the news of the resurrection to himself. He traveled to Indian and lived there for almost 14 years. He shared the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection with the people there. It is believed He visited several parts of India and her neighboring countries with the good news of Jesus until He was martyred on present day St. Thomas Mount in Chennai, India. I grew up in Chennai and he was martyred in my neighborhood(4 miles from my home). Often I would think that it was quite possible that I was treading where his feet trod. What motivated a man to come die a martyr in an unknown land? Nothing but the restored love of His Savior who had conquered death and him. The risen Christ is the same today. He stands by our side, even in our moments of doubt. Let doubt not cause you to turn away from Him, instead, draw closer to Him and ask, He is faithful. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” John 20:27
Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Romans 4:3Abraham was credited righteous for his faith in God, not for his great accomplishments or charity. He was considered righteous because he set his eyes on God and believed God was able to do what He promised. Abraham who almost 100 years old believed the whole world would be blessed through him and his lineage. Quite impossible, considering Abraham and his wife Sarah were childless and way past child bearing age. But Abraham believed that God would still keep His promise. And His faith was counted as righteousness. Today we hear phrases that say “Believe in yourself” or “only Believe”. The object of Faith is as important as having faith itself. Abraham had faith in God, not himself. Abraham did not believe in himself because he knew no matter how hard he believed in himself, there was no way a couple in their 90s, past child bearing age, could bear a child. So Abraham believed in the author of life. Faith in anything else would have been denial or worse, pride. Do we have faith? If yes, what/who is the object of our faith? Because it matters in the big picture! Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Seeker(Nicodemus) At Night
In the darkness, Nicodemus met with Jesus secretly. Nicodemus was a respected religious leader and teacher in Jerusalem. When He saw Jesus’ many signs and miracles, He knew he was from God, a prophet perhaps? He wanted to know more and had so many questions but his status as a leader was at risk. If His “colleagues” found out about his questions, he would be thrown out of the synagogue and his local culture and community. So he met with Jesus at night. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3 NLT. Nicodemus couldn’t understand. That’s when Jesus explains God’s plan for salvation. He goes on to talk about the most popular Bible verses in the world – John 3:16. I don’t think I can do justice rephrasing Jesus’ words so if you would like to read it, please click this linkhttps://bible.com/bible/116/jhn.3.1-21.NLTJesus ends up telling Him that He is the Son of God, the way to eternal life. He was the one who had come to save the world. Did Nicodemus believe that Jesus was indeed the Messiah? Nicodemus comes back in the scene after Jesus died. He brought 75 pounds/ 32 kilograms of burial ointment to bury Jesus after His death on the cross. Nicodemus believed! Questions aren’t necessarily bad. It is in asking that we get answers and eventually we believe. Some questions and their answers can change your life upside down, like it did for Nicodemus. What kind of questions do you have? Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
This painting was inspired by the story where God calls Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery. Moses trembles realizing He is hearing the voice of the Most Holy God. “Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father —the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God. Exodus 3:5-6 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/exo.3.5-6.NLT As Moses begins to lead the Israelite, God shows up in amazing ways and reminds them of His Holiness and calls them to be Holy. The Israelites weren’t allowed to approach God lightly. They had lengthy priestly rituals to atone their sins before they could approach God. Fast forward to AD, after the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus, worship changed. God became accessible to common man through the sacrificial death of Jesus. I’m so glad He came to reconcile me to Him. I would never be able to approach God counting on my own righteousness! Worship has changed, God’s grace wraps us and we can confidently approach His throne, but God’s Holiness remains. He is still Holy. He is still King of kings and Lord of lords. He is still the same righteous judge. The cross allows us to face God with confidence and call Him Abba Father. Its truly a marvelous mystery, the Most Holy God reaching out to us, despite our sins. What a privilege! May we never treat His grace cheaply. It was purchased by the blood of Jesus. May we shed every sin that traps us and desire Holiness for we are children of the Most Holy God. May we approach His throne boldly, not trusting in our own righteousness but trusting in the righteousness of Jesus.