"In addition to kneeling angels and fainted Roman guards, I incorporated the concept of the 'great cloud of witnesses' from Hebrews 12:1 by showing the tomb surrounded by jubilating heroes of the faith. These biblical notables include Moses, David, Isaiah, and Abraham on the right of Christ and Elijah, Noah, Esther, John the Baptist, and Daniel on His left. Of all the figures, the three kneeling are David, Esther, and Daniel — royalty bowing to the greatest of all kings!
"Now let me draw your attention to some elements in the mural that you may miss at first glance. Notice the rock beginning to crack under Christ's feet due to the earthquake and the 'keys of death and hell' (Revelation 1:18) tied on Christ's belt. On the upper right of the painting is the remnant of the place where Jesus was earlier crucified, Mount Calvary, also known as Golgotha or the place of the skull
. You can also see the hint of a rainbow above as the same promise God gave after the Flood; it still stands the test of time. Of course I'd be remiss if I did not point out the part of the mural that matters most: Christ emerging from the tomb victorious and alive! There are even more elements that can be seen in the full size mural (and in the reproduction) so I invite you to make a point to see it at the museum and bring a copy into your home today.
"This mural was commissioned by the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, Texas, after experiencing a tragic fire which culminated in nearly a total loss to the museum's contents, among which was a mural that was well known for them as a pilgrimage piece
— one that many came from all over the world to see. After deciding to rebuild, the museum entered into negotiations with me to execute a new mural on the topic of the resurrection of Christ. Once a contract was signed, I prayed for direction, and I sketched out two ideas based on the idea. After selecting their preference, (which also was mine), I began working on the final mural.
"Because of the mural's large size, I needed to relocate my studio to a warehouse large enough to accommodate a one-piece custom made canvas 12' x 40'. I also needed to invest in a mechanical scissor lift which would allow me to elevate myself high enough to paint all across the canvas. The process in preparing for all of my paintings always consists of the search and selection of models, custom made costumes, and professionally sculpted props (such as the tomb made by Warner Brothers for me). I also invest in premier paints and materials that exceed all museum standards. My paints are Old Holland, and are made by the same factory in Holland that produced paints for many of the legendary painters such as Johann Vermeer and numerous others centuries ago.
"Once all of this was in place, I assembled the entire group of models and props at a professional photographer's studio for a massive photo shoot which resulted in over a thousand photographs for me to refer to as I painted. I was fortunate to have many fine world renowned painters to pose for me, such as Morgan Weistling
(David), Thomas Blackshear
(Abraham), Chris Hopkins
(John the Baptist), and Michael Dudash
"It seems that over the centuries every artist has longed to paint a definitive subject that would stand the test of time and draw the viewer into the scene. For Michelangelo, it was the Creation of Adam
which he did for the Sistine Chapel. For Rembrandt van Rijn, it was the scene of The Prodigal Son
. For me, it is The Resurrection
of our Savior Jesus Christ,
as this one act of history separates Christianity from every other religion, philosophy, and dogma. This event not only authenticates Christ's nativity and crucifixion but also legitimizes every word Jesus ever said concerning Himself and His relationship to God.
"Although some may ignore the resurrection at their peril, nobody can deny that it is a historically and theologically proven fact beyond doubt. My hope is that as this mural is installed, many will be confronted with the scene of The Resurrection
and make the decision that Jesus Christ is worthy of being called their Lord and Savior."