Need help with my writing homework on The Spirit of the Liturgy by Ratzinger. Write a 1500 word paper answering; St. Paul considers the image of the crucified Christ as the ultimate “place of expiation” in which God reveals his face through his son. The transformation of the narrative of the Ark of the Covenant into the image of the resurrection of Christ represents the development of the Old Testament to the new.
Images in Islam and Judaism during the third or fourth century, AD were supposed to be limited to symbols with geometric designs to adorn their sanctuaries. However, during the time of Jesus into the third century, images of salvation were similar in synagogues and churches. Archeological discoveries reveal that ancient synagogues were decorated with representational scenes from the bible. These images were not regarded as mere images of past events but as reminders of what must be in the present. They were meant to incorporate historical facts with the remembrances of Christian truths.
Thus, images of individual biblical events are now ordered toward the Christian sacraments and to Christ himself. “Noah’s ark and the crossing of the Red Sea now point to Baptism. The sacrifice of Isaac and the meal of the three angels with Abraham speak of Christ’s Sacrifice and the Eucharist. Shining through the rescue of the three young men from the fiery furnace and of Daniel from the lion’s den we see Christ’s Resurrection and our own” (Ratzinger, 2000, p. 117). The images of the events take on a new meaning than mere historical and biblical representations but they transcend time and are incorporated into the sacraments of the Church.
The early images of Christ were always symbolical. The most precious of all was that of the Good Shepherd. In this image, Christ is viewed as the true savior of humankind. The shepherd takes the lost sheep (sinful humanity) on his shoulders and brings it back home (to God).