The “Grace Equation” is a series of 13 works that illustrate the story of personal salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and how this occurs through the use of symbols. The colour black represents the darkness and sin in the world. The red heart represents the sinful state of heart whereby the deserved consequence of sin is eternal death and suffering. The white represents God and the Holy Spirit and the white Jesus.
The series begins with ‘God’s Image which illustrates how God originally created human beings- in the likeness of Himself (Genesis 1:27). The white background shows the flawlessness and purity of creation before sin. The pink represents perfect love and unity between Adam and Eve, and between the couple and God. Both pink and white represent God, as God is love (1 John 4:8).
The second in the series is ‘Alienated’ which depicts the absolutely devastating effects of sin in the world. Adam and Eve (represented by two red hearts) are shown cowering in the corner as they attempt to cover up their nakedness hiding from God. The large black space covering most of the painting illustrates how severe Adam and Eve’s act of sin affected their relationship with God (Genesis 3).
This painting seeks to illustrate the biblical perspective of sin and how different people’s sins ‘weigh up’. . Western society tends to downplay the seriousness of human sin with the humanist perspective even suggesting that people are inherently ‘good’. The bible takes a somewhat different angle on the issue when it says “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23).
The white heart in the picture represents Jesus who came to earth and lived among the world full of sinners. The white colour illustrates that Jesus was fully God and the heart shape that he forfeited his godly glory and splendor to live with humility among us as a man. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (1 John: 14, NIV)
The scales visually show who the human heart in a sinful state (red heart) does not measure up to the righteous and sinless purity of the Jesus the Son of God. This painting leaves the questioning hanging ‘How can anyone measure up to God’s standards? “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”(Romans 6:3)
The painting represents Jesus when He died on the cross and the significance of His sacrifice. The white heart represents Jesus as fully God, but in the form a man (heart shape) and the red stripes represent the sins, diseases and iniquities that were all paid for in this act of ultimate love. As stated by the prophet Isaiah (about Jesus) “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” (Isaiah 53:5, NLT)
The white heart represents Jesus after He rose from the dead with the pink outline representing His perfect love. The bible speaks of His resurrection “But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large and had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen!…” (Mark 16:4-6)
The red and white hearts that have been placed apart represent the distance between God and sinners without the grace bought by Jesus on the cross.
The red heart in the second picture has a white heart in the centre which shows how God’s grace enables a personal relationship with God the father. The white heart in the center of the red heart shows how the believer becomes a ‘new creation’ after choosing to life a life in relationship and obedience to God. The heart represents how the Holy Spirit is at work on the inside of the believer’s heart.