Modern Catholic iconography tends to either accurately portray or grossly distort the qualities of holy personages. Such is the case with these two representations of Our Divine Savior.
The first image is of a modern stained-glassed window positioned above the tabernacle in a Blessed Sacrament chapel. The pierced foot and triumphant gesture are signs that this is supposed to portray Our Lord’s Glorious Resurrection. The event is not the first thing that attracts one’s attention, but rather the accentuated bulging biceps and the disproportionately large, muscular hands.
These physical traits are like those seen in a body builder, pumped full of steroids, not Our Lord! It is as if the artist of this monstrosity imagined that the King of Kings could conquer death because of mere human strength, not because He is Eternally Omnipotent. Thus, the emphasis is placed on the physical, entirely to the detriment of the spiritual.
A more accurate portrayal of Our Lord Jesus Christ can be seen in the magnificent scene below in which Christ drives the money changers out of the temple with a whip He wove with His own Divine Hands.
What military leader would not have holy envy of such an act of audacity? Surrounded by enemies, He boldly and single-handedly drives them from His Father’s house. In the face of such majestic severity, their only option is to comply. They fear not only the lashes that might sting their soft flesh but also saw that His moral superiority would brook no opposition.
There is a keen lesson to be drawn from these two photos. If modern men were to take a mere fraction of the time they spend in caring for their bodies and focus on shaping their souls into the images and likenesses of God; the world would be full of saints. They might then look with a more critical eye at such warped versions of Our Blessed Lord as bodybuilder. More importantly, they would admire the more accurate painting of Our Lord as Just Avenger.