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Luke 23:32-43

It would be a safe assumption to say that everyday we make a variety of choices and decisions ranging from what to wear, to what we will do with our life? It is one of the greatest attributes of humanity, that we have the ability to make choices and decisions. We are not puppets on strings. How often do we take for granted our ability to reason and consider, to think and decide our words, thoughts, and actions. What is more is that the ability to make a choice is not only part of our design, written into our being, but it is a gift from our creator. God wants us to be able to choose. I have often heard Him being accused of trying to be a puppeteer who controls all our movements, but that is the furthest thing from the truth. Yes he wants us to choose him and love him, yet nothing is forced upon us. We choose to accept or reject: Free will! The Bible is full of examples of choices made by individuals. Right at the beginning of creation we have Adam and Eve, mankind made perfect by God and living in an amazing designer made Garden to live in and care for. The only thing asked by God was not to eat the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden! They decided though, with a bit of persuasion from a crooked serpent, to disobey God, which resulted in their expulsion, and the destruction and decay of all things created. Bad choice! Skipping way ahead, the events in the garden of Gethsemane show us the struggle that Jesus had about going to the cross. Jesus could have avoided the cross, and decided not to die. The battle raged in him about giving up his life or not, but Jesus makes a choice to follow God and to do as he wished when he prayed , “not my will but yours, Father”. Even up on the cross, at the moment of death, we see a choice being made. Two thieves hung on crosses either side of him. One chose to hurl insults and ridicule, whilst the other chose to accept Jesus for who he was and ask for forgiveness! Jesus’ purpose for coming was to give his life as a sacrifice in order to erase the wrongs of humanity, to eradicate the barriers that separate us from having a relationship with God, to bridge the gap between us and heaven. He came to set right the balance of nature and to offer forgiveness and restoration not to a culture or society, but to individuals on a personal level. It’s a One to One thing. The two thieves situation is a perfect illustration. And yet, despite the thief’s rejection of Jesus, that didn’t stop Him from loving that thief and still dying on the cross for him. God gives us the ability to make choices, and to decided what or who we want to follow, but our choice, whatever it may be, doesn’t stop him from loving us unconditionally. I find that comforting and reassuring.

Medium: Colour graphics pens on watercolour paper


cross, death, jesus, sacrifice, struggle, choice, bible, thieves, shawnart

Primarily a landscape photographer, my enjoyment of taking photos has developed from a young age. Originally from Texas, I now live in England and am surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery. I enjoy outdoor activities such as climbing, hiking, and camping. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and three terrific children. I am a strong Christian and I believe that my love of photography and any talent I posses in capturing images comes from God.

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  • Luke and Katie Thurlby
    Luke and Katie...over 5 years ago

    It’s amazing that a drawing can feel so graphic…
    I can’t even look at it…
    Too emotional…
    A sign of a good piece of art I’d say…

  • Thank you for the compliment of my abilities! I am glad you tried to look at it. LOL! You are so very kind my friend!

    – Bradley Shawn Rabon

  • Lisa Taylor
    Lisa Taylorover 5 years ago

    Striking, simply striking! The pain and agony are well felt in this picture!!

  • Thank you Lisa! I appreciate it so very much! I felt moved to do this picture some years back, and I agonised over the message i wanted to put with it. I hope it speaks to all who read it. You are a great friend. Have a blessed day!

    – Bradley Shawn Rabon

  • micheleirene
    micheleireneover 5 years ago

    Wow….that is some pretty powerful and moving art work Shawn and very wonderful words to accompany it. Wonderful work :)

  • It has taken me a while but I am finally replying. Thank you so much my friend. That means a lot to me! I never really looked at it whilst i was doing the work – it was only after that I finally saw the picture if you know what I mean.

    – Bradley Shawn Rabon

  • Jellybean720
    Jellybean720over 5 years ago

    Very good work.. but so sad to see him this way.. Very powerful image

  • Thank you greatly my friend! It is hard to imagine what he went through. I do appreciate the lovely compliment.

    – Bradley Shawn Rabon

  • Olga
    Olgaover 5 years ago

    Deeply expressive and wonderful teaching words.

  • Thank you enormously for the touching compliment. This is one of those pictures that holds so much meaning and depth for me. I am pleased it speaks to you. I really appreciate it.

    – Bradley Shawn Rabon

  • Cheyenne
    Cheyenneover 5 years ago

    You do an amazing job on these wonderful works of art. Very amazing. Wonderful scripture. =)

  • You are so wonderful Cheyenne! I so very much appreciate your lovely compliment and will treasure it.

    – Bradley Shawn Rabon

  • Marie Sharp
    Marie Sharpover 5 years ago

    Powerful artwork and wonderful message, Bradley!

  • Thank you greatly Marie! I wish I could have uploaded it before Easter, but there was just too much going on here. I am very pleased that you like it. Have a blessed day.

    – Bradley Shawn Rabon

  • Luke and Katie Thurlby
    Luke and Katie...over 5 years ago

    Ooh looking at it again I’ve just realised how much I love the sun coming out from behind the clouds. It’s like a hint of the joy that is to come after such sadness… the wonderful gift of life that Jesus is giving to so many through his selfless sacrifice! It is the hope in an otherwise hopeless and agonizing scene.. thanks again for your wonderful exhortation and meaningful art Bradley.


  • That is a brilliant observation! Thank you for that. I wanted to have a sense of the hope that his sacrifice was bringing. I hope you two are doing well and settling in to married life. Take care and God bless!

    – Bradley Shawn Rabon

  • Johanne Brunet
    Johanne Brunetover 5 years ago

    Oh my, this is such a poignant scene and message! Very powerful with lots of emotions, but it conveys hope at the same time. There is pain and rain, cleansing waterdrops perhaps and the sun in the end. Beautiful work again, Shawn! :-)

  • Johanne, you are absolutely wonderful. Thank you my dear friend for that wonderful description and compliment of my work. I wanted it to be a moving image and it seems that I accomplished that. Have a blessed day.

    – Bradley Shawn Rabon

  • Appel
    Appelover 5 years ago


  • I am in complete agreement Ann! Thank you so very much my friend.

    – Bradley Shawn Rabon

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