From Muted and Magnificent





The Sistine Chapel is part of the official residence of the pope in Vatican City.  The chapel itself was completed in 1481, but it is perhaps best known for the work of art that is found on it’s ceiling:

This breathtakingly beautiful masterpiece was created by Michelangelo between 1508-1512. Many regard the Sistine Chapel ceiling as the greatest work of the Renaissance period.  Michelangelo used his brush to tell the Bible visually.

The photo here shows it today – following the restoration that was completed from 1980-1994. (It’s interesting that it took 14 years to complete the restoration, but only 4 years for Michelangelo to create it!)

Over the years, grime and soot had accumulated.  So after 468 years, a restoration project was launched.  Using highly sophisticated techniques that employed computer and chemical analysis, a team of experts were surprised–and even shocked– to see that instead of a muted, drab or subdued palette, Michelangelo had actually employed an overwhelmingly vibrant color palette.

One expert commented, “Every book on Michelangelo will have to be rewritten.”

He’s right!

For centuries artists have studied and modeled their work after Michelangelo – now artists will need to change out their palettes if they are to imitate the great master.

Truly, this extraordinary restoration changed everything about what others thought about Michelangelo and certainly changed the environment of the Sistine Chapel.

The Sistine Chapel was transformed from drab and dreary to bright and brilliant.

From muted to magnificent.

It’s as if the ceiling has come out of the darkness and into the light.

That transformation is a picture of what happened in your life and mine as we entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ and it’s also a picture of our daily journey of walking with Him.  As He peels away the layers of sin and baggage that have accumulated in our lives and as we cooperate in repentance and obedience, we experience the joy of walking and living in His light. And indeed the Spirit living in us should bring the light of Christ to our environment.  We, too, should be continually changing out our spiritual palette to follow the example of our great master.

Our transformation is only possible because of the resurrection!

Laura Macfarlan