Today’s Scripture: What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. Romans 6:21

There is a legend about the famous painting, The Last Supper. The story goes that Leonardo Da Vinci used living people as models for each of the disciples and for Christ.After searching through hundreds of volunteers, Leonardo picked a young man whose physical appearance reflected every attribute of Christ to be his model for the Lord Jesus. For six months, he studied and painted this young man’s face. Leonardo very meticulously painted that man’s face.

For the next six years, Leonardo painted the eleven disciples. A fitting person would portray each of the disciples. After those six years, Leonardo took the challenge of finding someone whose figure would describe the character of Judas Iscariot. He was looking for a man with a hard, callous face, with a countenance marked by scars of greed, deceit, hypocrisy, and crime. He was looking for someone who would reflect a character who would betray his best friend.

After searching in vain for someone who met these descriptions, he received news that someone who fit the description perfectly was in prison in Rome, sentenced to death. Leonardo traveled to Rome and was able to paint the prisoner. For months, Leonardo painted every detail of this man’s face. When he had finished, he turned to the guards and said, “I have finished. You may take the prisoner away.”

When the guards grabbed him, he broke loose of them, ran to Leonardo and cried, “Leonardo, look at me. Do you know who I am?”

Leonardo stared into the face of the man he had painted for the last six months. “No,” he replied, “I have never seen you in my life until you were brought out of the dungeon.”

Then lifting his eyes to heaven, the prisoner said, “Oh God, have I fallen so low?” He then turned to Leonardo and said, “I am the same man you painted just seven years ago as the figure of Christ.”

The moral of the story is obvious. Sin destroys lives. It’s not worth it.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder