It was stunning news in the ArtsÂ world. A piece of artwork that no oneÂ knew even existed had been found.
When the simple painting surfacedÂ at an art auction, it was assumed to beÂ the work of a 19th century GermanÂ artist. Peter Silverman was drawn toÂ the portrait. He wondered if it hadÂ been attributed to the wrong artist andÂ era. At that time a New York dealerÂ purchased the painting for $19,000. ButÂ a decade later Silverman, recognizingÂ the portrait in a Manhattan gallery,Â quickly purchased it for $20,000.
Silverman had experts study theÂ portrait with sophisticated technology.Â The quality of the work suggested itÂ came from the hand of a master artistÂ who was left-handed. The youngÂ womanâ€™s costume and hairstyle wereÂ determined to be from the late 1400â€™s,Â not the 19th century.
A forensic art expert discovered aÂ fingerprint that was not discernibleÂ by human eyes. It perfectly matched aÂ fingerprint on Leonardo Da Vinciâ€™s St.Â Jerome. The value of the small portraitÂ immediately soared to over $150 million.Â It is now called La Bella Principessa.
This reminds us of anotherÂ masterpiece. There is something uniqueÂ about human beings, and yet so oftenÂ we undervalue ourselves. We sellÂ ourselves to a job, to the pursuit of fameÂ or pleasure or to an addiction. NoneÂ of these reflect the true value of theÂ human soul that bears the fingerprintÂ of God.
The Bible says that God placed HisÂ imprint on us. â€œLet Us make man in OurÂ image, according to Our likeness…So GodÂ created man in His own image; in the imageÂ of God He created him; male and femaleÂ He created themâ€ (Genesis 1:26,27). WeÂ are distinct and separate from the restÂ of Godâ€™s creation. We were made toÂ enjoy a relationship with God, but thatÂ relationship was broken by sin.
You are worth more than anyÂ Leonardo Da Vinci painting. GodÂ places an infinite value on you. TheÂ Lord Jesus said, â€œFor the Son of ManÂ has come to seek and to save that which wasÂ lostâ€ (Luke 19:10). God loves you soÂ much that He gave His Son to die onÂ the cross for sin – the sin that marredÂ His masterpiece. Through faith inÂ Him, all your sins can be forgiven andÂ the masterpiece-status He originallyÂ intended for you can be fully realized.
Would you like to be found andÂ start the rest of your life with the valueÂ and the meaning that God has alwaysÂ intended for you?
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