We think ourselves kings
For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. - Galatians 6:3
Rouault follows up the plate “Are we not all convicts” with “We think ourselves kings”.
In doing this, he captures the duplicity of our humanity. One day, we feel our shame, the next we try to cover it over. But this movement doesn’t take days. We go from shame to creating a false self moment by moment.
In the last plate, the convict wore no chains, in this one the king does. We make ourselves feel acceptable with the things we wear, the things we own, and the things we project about who we are.
Is there weariness in you, Christian? Where does it come from? Does it come from your shame or from your constant efforts to appear to have it all together. Rouault reminds us that we are all convicts and yet we play the part of kings.
Christ calls us away from all of this. He calls us to stop living two lives. The fact that we are already known and accepted in Christ allows us to put aside the chains of the convict and the king. We can live a new life, free.
Free to admit our faults.
Free from the oppression of judgment.
Free to live unto our Savior, the true king.