This last weekend I visited Walla Walla College. While there I noticed the piece of art displayed in the front of the church.
The Painting depicts the Resurrection, we see Jesus with wound marks rising above a casket like grave, holding the banner which appears to be a Crusader's flag and showing a soldier on each side asleep.
It is a nice piece of Art and the size is impressive as well as the talent of the artist. What bothers me about it is the Crusader's flag.
The most common reason today to avoid the crusader's flag is the offense that it seems to inspire among many Muslims. But I am not that politically correct to find that offensive, though it does surprise me that this is found on a college campus. As the Crusader's Cross is the source of Scandinavian Flags it is hard to disregard it for the sake of political correctness.
The flags of the Scandinavian countries, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands, are all based on the Crusader's Cross. In each case the upright part of the cross is closer to the hoist than to the free end of the flag. Each of the flags uses a combination of the colors white, red, blue, and gold. All of the flags have their origin in the Dannebrog, the "Danish cloth" which goes back to the 13th century... In order from left to right they are: Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Åland, and Denmark.The Problem I have with the Crusader's flag is that the Crusades were a terrible misuse of Christianity. To imagine Jesus holding one of the Crusade banners just does not look right to me.
Another interesting element of the above art is the fact that Biblically the event of Christ arising and the soldiers falling back as if dead did not occur. In writing about this incident in reference to Matt. 28 the Expositor's Bible Commentary writes:
Too much speculative "theologizing" has accompanied some modern treatments of these verses. In particular there is nothing to suggest that the soldiers were in any sense pagan witnesses of the Resurrection. They neither heard the angel's words nor saw the risen Jesus; and they would shortly lie about what really had happened (vv. 11-15).Adventist art on the other hand as I recall often depicts Jesus coming forth from the tomb and soldiers falling down, at least in our children's books.
Matthew 28:2-5 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.