It was a brainchild for a number of years. He imagined an art exhibit with nothing but Jesus pictures.
But who would come? And where would he get all the pictures?
He began collecting. Originals, copies, professional, homemade, any and all works that in some form or fashion displayed Jesus.
He had almost 40. All different and unique, but it wasn’t enough, so he threw a wider net. His congregation caught a vision to celebrate together, and at the same time, reach out to the community on Easter weekend.
Members, friends, families began to offer and loan their works of Jesus art for a museum quality exhibit.
Art of His birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, prophecy came together.
They hung massive black curtains in the gymnasium. Pictures were displayed on black easels and black backgrounds with low light professionally accenting each work. Even the youth’s series of painted Jesus faces were on display.
It was a unique, sophisticated art display. But it wasn’t just refined, it was raw.
A beautiful depiction of the Lord’s Supper carved out of olive wood was followed by a picture of a beaten, bloody Savior who willingly gave Himself to be tortured before dying on the cross.
Art of Jesus smiling in celebration would be followed by a piece of Jesus agonizing with the weight of the world on His shoulders.
Weaving in and out of various displays, the eyes became accustomed to the low lights. That’s when the heart began to see clearly, seeing far more than what was just displayed on canvas. It became real, moving, redeeming.
Throughout the exhibit, Jesus was always open. Nowhere was there a picture of Jesus like a baseball umpire, with his arms crossed and hands closed. His arms and hands are always open, always inviting, welcoming.
No matter how bad the sin, how wounded the person, how deep the pain, Jesus offers His compassion, and most importantly, His forgiveness.
It was not without cost, for it cost His life.
But He arose.
Today He’s alive, arms still open, still inviting, offering a free gift of eternal life to mankind.
He’s real. He’s there. Go to Him. His arms are open.
For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13