March 29, 2013
In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day He was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen. After His suffering, He showed Himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. Acts 1:1-3
Seventy-two years ago, Gutzon Borglum’s most well known project was finished, after 14 years. Unfortunately, the sculptor didn’t live to see the completion of Mount Rushmore, because he died in March, 1941.
The 60-foot granite heads of presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln were not Borglum’s first works. His Mares Of Diomedes was the first piece of American sculpture bought for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He was commissioned to make statues for the city’s Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, he made Washington, D.C.’s large equestrian bronze of General Philip Sheridan, and created a memorial to Pickett’s Charge on the Gettysburg battlefield. In Newark, New Jersey, his Wars of America—a huge memorial with 42 humans and 2 horses, is set in Military Park—and Seated Lincoln resides at the country courthouse.
But Mount Rushmore remains Borglum’s most noted accomplishment (even though his son Lincoln put the finishing touches on it). “This is no mere ‘colossal’ stunt,” he said of the massive undertaking. “I am simply animating the mountain.”
This is the weekend we celebrate that Jesus is “animated,” or made alive. It is no “colossal stunt,” even though many down through the centuries have tried to discredit it. Even Scripture relates how the chief priests and the elders conspired against it: “They gave the soldiers [who had guarded Jesus’s tomb] a large sum of money, telling them, ‘You are to say, “His disciples stole Him away while we were asleep.’” If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble. So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed” (Matthew 28:12-15).
This story has so many contradictions it’s laughable. How could sleeping people know what happened? Would it be likely all the soldiers were sleeping at the same time? And would they risk incriminating themselves even for a large bribe?
The Gospels and Luke’s letter that is now the book of Acts record several instances of Jesus showing Himself alive to His followers (Matthew 28:9-10, 17-20; Luke 24:13-31, 36-51; John 20:14-17, 19-23, 26-29, 21:4-22; Acts 1:3-9). The apostle Paul testifies He appeared to more than 500 people at one time, with living witnesses still attesting to that fact 25 years later (1 Corinthians 15:5-8). No, as the apostle Peter avows, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Peter 1:16).
(To read more about the proofs of Jesus’s resurrection, go to author and speaker Josh McDowell’s website-scroll down to the bottom of this page for links under “Free Resources”).
Experiencing Mount Rushmore is awesome, especially at night, when the Park Service puts on a spectacular light show.
But knowing the “Living One [who is] alive forever and ever” (Revelation 1:18)—indescribable!