Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Joy of ART: Alive!!

Following up on Friday’s It Is Finished post, I wanted to share these Resurrection paintings that I enjoy so much, along with the artists’ own words. May you enjoy these as I have . . .

He Is Risen
by Liz Lemon Swindle

        The greatest message of hope is not found in the crucifixion, but in the empty tomb. When Mary arrived on that first Easter morning, she found the stone rolled away and two angels standing inside. One turned to her and said, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen” - Luke 24:5-6
        Like Mary, each of us will face the loss of a loved one. One does not live long without experiencing the sorrow that comes with death and the longing for a glorious reunion. The miracle of the empty tomb is not just that He rose, but that because He did, we will too. Each of us will leave our own empty tombs and be reunited with those we love.
        It is the promise and hope of our own glorious resurrections that we hear in those angelic words, “He… is risen.”

He Is Risen
by Del Parson

        A man who had recently visited the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem came to me and described the personal feelings he had experienced while he was there. He said that as he stepped out of the darkness of the tomb and into the sunlight, he was overwhelmed as he thought of Christ’s resurrection. He wanted me to recreate those feelings in a painting of the Savior stepping out of the tomb and into the early morning sun.
        I wanted this piece to be accurate and to capture the feelings he described to me, so I built a tomb door opening in my living room out of 2x4s to have a model step out of for the painting.
        Many people have enjoyed this painting and some have commented to me that the placement of his hands is meaningful to them. One hand is behind Him, touching the opening of the tomb, and the other hand reaches forward. It is as if he is putting the tomb and death behind him and reaching ahead into eternity.

He Is Risen
by Greg Olsen

        Easter morning began full of magic and joy as our little children searched for eggs to fill their Easter baskets. That magic seemed to evaporate when our six-year-old daughter “found out” about the Easter Bunny. This led to a discussion about the Tooth Fairy, leprechauns, and finally, Santa Claus. It was sad to see some of the childhood wonderment disappear from her eyes.
        Later in the morning, I found her curled up on the couch, looking even sadder than before. Upon questioning her, she said, “Dad, does that mean that all that stuff about Jesus and Heavenly Father is just pretend?”
        I sat next to her, gathered her up in my arms, and told her that I was happy to say that I know that Jesus and Heavenly Father are not pretend – They are real!
        This painting reflects that belief. On that first Easter morning, the risen Lord himself reassured a sad and questioning Mary Magdalene that He is real and that yes, He lives!

Why Weepest Thou?
by Liz Lemon Swindle

        How fitting that one of His most devout disciples was the first to see him after He had risen. Mary Magdalene knew Him well. She had followed Him throughout His ministry and loved Him deeply, yet in her grief she didn’t recognize Him. Was it her tears that blurred her recognition? Perhaps it took a moment to recognize Him because of the glory of his resurrected body. We don’t know.
        Aren’t we all a bit like Mary? When we struggle the most, we are reluctant to look up and see His face and let Him bring us peace and comfort and direction. Possibly one of the greatest lessons we can learn in life is to know He is there and to go to Him immediately.

The Resurrection
by Nathan Greene

by Liz Lemon Swindle

        When Mary came to the tomb, she found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. She ran to the disciples crying, "They have taken away the Lord…and we know not where they have laid him" (John 20:2). Peter and John immediately ran to the tomb.
        What did they think as they ran? Were they simply curious to see for themselves? Did they fear, like Mary, that their enemies had stolen the body? Or did they remember His promise, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up"?
        The decision that faced Peter and John that Sunday morning is the same decision that faces each one of us today. Will we doubt? Will we hope? Or will we know that He lives? I know that He lives.

Mary Magdalene
by Del Parson

As the first person that Christ appeared to after His triumph over death, Mary is described as a great friend and a loyal follower. In this portrayal Mary desires to touch her Master. However, “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father …” (John 20:17).

My Redeemer Lives
by Liz Lemon Swindle

        I wanted to capture that first Easter morning as the Lord sat in the quiet stillness of the garden. He must have known that Mary would come seeking Him, but for a moment He was alone to ponder on all that had happened. He must have felt unspeakable joy in knowing that by doing His Father will He had made it possible for each of us to return to live with God.
        We are each faced with a similar choice. Will we follow our own will, or the will of our Father? May we live to say as the Lord said, “I came… not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” – John 6:38

Sunday Go to Meetin’
by Billy Jacobs


  1. Another lovely and inspiring collection. I'm so happy that you included the artists' words with their paintings. Thanks again.

  2. I loved the one called Hope, Peter and John running to the tomb. They didn't believe He had risen, but rather that his body had been stolen, because they didn't go away rejoicing. Even though for three years Jesus told them He would rise again, they didn't let that hope grow into belief. These are beautiful paintings, in both sets. The Centurian was a neat concept too.