LAST SUPPER, THE
Buddy Starcher - 1966
Johnny Cash - 1973
Friends, this story of the painting of the Last Supper is an extremely interesting and instructive one
And two incidents connected with it afford a most convincing lesson on the efforts of right and wrong thinking in everyday life
The Last Supper was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci
Who, of course, was a noted Italian artist
The figures representing the twelve disciples and Christ himself were to be painted from living people
When it was decided that Da Vinci would paint this great picture, the life model for the painting of Christ was to be chosen first
Hundreds and hundreds of young men were carefully viewed in an endeavour to find the face and personality
That exhibited sentiment and beauty that would be in the face of Christ
Finally after weeks of laborious search, a young man, nineteen years old, was chosen for the model to portray the face of Christ
For six months Da Vinci worked on the production of this leading character of his famous painting
During the next six years Da Vinci laboured at his work
And one-by-one eleven persons were chosen to represent each of the eleven disciples
He left one place for the face of Judas
As you remember, Judas was the one who betrayed our Lord for thirty pieces of silver
And then for weeks Da Vinci searched for a man with a hard calloused face, marked with scars, deceit, hypocrisy and crime
A face that would designate a character who would betray his best friend
And after many discouraging experiences in searching for this type of man, Da Vinci finally got word from Rome
That there was a man who had been sentenced to die for a life of crime
He was in a dungeon, so Da Vinci went to Rome
And the man was led out into the sunlight
His shaggy unkept hair sprawled down to his shoulders
The scars caused by the wicked life of sin marred his contemptuous face
After one look Da Vinci said, "Yes, this is the man I shall paint to portray the face of Judas"
So for six weeks he sat at appointed hours in front of the criminal as he painted this portrait
After he had finished and the guards were leading the man away, the prisoner cried out to Da Vinci, "Mr. Da Vinci, don't you know who I am?"
Da Vinci said, "No, I have never seen you before in my life"
The man fell to his knees and looking up into the sky he said, "God, oh my God, have I fallen so low?"
And then the prisoner said, "Mr. Da Vinci, I am the man you painted just six years ago as the face of Jesus Christ!"
(Transcribed by Mel Priddle - October 2011)