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 though 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. He commissioned me to do this painting for him because he wanted Jesus to resemble te Red Robe painting (The Lord Jesus Christ), which was his favorite painting of the Savior.
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.
A couple years after I finished this painting, I was able to visit the tomb in Jerusalem. I thought about the man whose feelings for that place were so deep that he went to the effort to search me out and find me to paint it for him. I understood those feelings as I visited the tomb and felt what he had described for me. This was a sacred place, where one of the most significant events in all of history took place. I hope I have been able to capture that feeling with this painting.