Suffering Servant, Isaiah 53, 54:1-8, by Donald Jackson, 2005. The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota.
Hand-ground ink and pigments, casein and watercolor, shell gold and gold leaf on gum ammoniac/acrylic medium - calfskin vellum.
Scribe: Sally Mae Joseph
The Prophets describe a coming Messiah who will restore peace and justice to Israel, yet he will be despised by the wicked and bear their sins quietly. Thus, he is called the Suffering Servant. In Jackson's image, an emaciated prisoner stands above the head of a lamb, referencing the text in which the Messiah endures his tormenters with grace, "like a lamb that is led to the slaughter." The shadow of a modern chain link fence surrounds the Servant drawing a parallel between the Messiah’s suffering and that of victims of suffering in today’s world. But just as the figure stands alone in Jackson's image, so the Suffering Servant will one day be singled out by God to reign in Zion.(Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, © 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)
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