You Shall Not Pass

you shall not pass

30″ x 40″ acrylic on canvas

I painted this during a weekend worship service, and finished it up at home. One of the pastors was preaching about the schemes of the devil, and a scene from Lord of the Rings came to my mind, where Gandalf says “You Shall Not Pass!”

There are a couple of notable differences between this picture and the book/movie scene. In the movie, Gandalf is holding both a sword and his staff, with the staff being a source of power. In this picture, the sword is depicted as the primary weapon, representing the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

In the movie, Gandalf the Grey is wearing a grey cloak, having not yet been “glorified”. (In the book, this trial by fire in Moria is the experience through which he became Gandalf the White.)

Here is Gandalf’s actual quote from the book:

“I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the Flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Ud√Ľn! Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.”

Ultimately Gandalf did defeat the Balrog, then died, and was resurrected as Gandalf the White. In my picture, the character (representing us as believers) is already wearing a white robe, having been sanctified and immortalized through the death and resurrection of Christ.

Thus, in our case, the enemy is already defeated. We don’t have to plunge into the depths of Moria to wage this war. It’s done. We only have to stand firm. Romans 16:20 was on my mind as I painted the giant foot poised to crush the enemy…

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”

Here are some additional applicable verses…

“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty. (Malachi 4:1-3)

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) This prophecy reveals that it is the foot of Christ that will crush the enemy’s head.

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Luke 10:19)

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