This painting by Leon Gerome is such a challenging message. Everytime I gaze upon it I am reminded not only of those who suffered for the Gospel during the persecution in Rome but also of those around the world who are currently enduring persecution. Further, this image challenges me in my own walk because it reminds me of Acts 5:40-42 which states: “They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”
May this image challenge you as much as it challenges me on a regular basis.
When the Christians, upon these occasions, received martyrdom, they were ornamented, and crowned with garlands of flowers; for which they, in heaven, received eternal crowns of glory.