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Christus am Olberg

August 3, 2019


Christus am Olberg

Things have not changed.      Since the beginning of time,  God has loved the people of His creation  and deeply desired their salvation.      So,  He is always presenting His truths  to people  through the preaching of His word,  but people continue  to turn away from God.      Even when our Lord fulfilled His promise of a Savior  in Jesus Christ,  people still rejected the Lord’s ways.      They much preferred their sins and self-righteousness.

Instead of turning to the Lord in joy  for the salvation being given them,  the people chose to continue  going their own ways.      So, in Matthew 23:37,  Jesus sadly said,

O Jerusalem,  Jerusalem,  who kills the prophets  and stones those who are sent to her!      How often  I wanted to gather your children together,  the way a hen  gathers her chicks  under her wings,  and you were unwilling.

God wants to save us  and protect us  from harm and sin,  but we don’t want Him to protect us  from our sinful inclinations.      People much prefer to do things their own way,  because their sins  make them think  they are in control  of their own lives.      We think our sins  are giving us the things we want  in life.      But,  our unwillingness  to humble ourselves  under the Lord’s loving care  will be our eternal downfall.

Josef Untersberger,  an Austrian artist,  who went under the pseudonym “Giovanni”,  depicted Jesus’ sadness  over our rebellion,  when in the early 1900’s,  he created the chromolithographic entitled  “Christus am Olberg”.      It is pictured above  and represents mankind’s  greed and rebellion  in more ways than one.

Untersberger’s original  was beautifully done  in rich colors  —  so beautifully done  that it soon became the most popular chromolithographic of its time.      People everywhere wanted a copy  of this work of art.      Seeing an opportunity  to make lots of money,  chromolithographers all over  started making copies for sale.      But, they were cheap.      They did not want to spend the money  on the necessary inks  and processing  that a professional job  would require.      So, they  “fudged”  on the colors and quality.      They made lots of money,  but left Josef Untersberger  in the dust.

One chromolithographer did work to create a law  that would copyright  an artist’s work,  but that was years later.      In the meantime,  some art critics,  who seem to have had a touch of jealousy  for Josef’s talents,  criticized Josef’s work  as just being cheap  and chintzy.      They did not feel chromolithography was a valid means of art,  and totally disregarded proofs  of Josef’s talents.

The point is  that Josef Untersberger  was expressing his faith  through his art,  but the businessmen  and supposed art critics  did not get the message.      They did not want to hear about  the love of God  in calling us to repentance.      Instead,  they wanted to line their own pocketbooks  and puff up their own pride  as authorities  in art.

The end result  is that basically all that is available today  in Josef’s art  is a cheap imitation of his original work.      All of his work has suffered cheap  and sloppy printing techniques.      That is sad  because it is a picture  of the way people  treat God.

We need to look  at what is happening  in our lives.      We should not opt for cheap imitations of God’s word.      Do we honestly appreciate  what God has done for us  in the marvelous love  of Jesus Christ on the cross?      Do we see the richness  of God’s miraculous work of salvation  as shown to us  in the colors  of thousands of years  of history  as recorded in His word in the Bible?

As we let our glorious Lord  gather us  under the protection of His almighty power  of salvation,  we say,  “Hallelujah!      Lord,  Your love and forgiveness  are more precious than anything else.      Forgive our silly straying,  and open our eyes  to the wondrous beauty  of Your work of salvation  in Jesus Christ.”



A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods


Pray for our country.


This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24


The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30


Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1


How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4


Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13


Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1


Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3


Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12






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