For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
At the center of this painting—and all of history—is the outstretched hand of Jesus Christ. We can come to God because of His sacrificial death on the cross. Walk through His story revealed in the history of His chosen people. On the left, we see the Tabernacle, which was given to Moses and the children of Israel in the wilderness. It is a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ. The shedding of blood on Old Testament altars was God’s requirement for the forgiveness of sin. Spend a moment with the prophet, looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. Notice the innocent lamb, ready to be slain as a sacrifice for the sins of the people. But in its place on the altar waits the manger that represents Christ, the Lamb of God slain for our sin. Step past the altar and follow the Via Dolorosa (the stone road Christ walked on His way to Calvary) to the empty cross, symbol of His sacrifice. His death completely paid once for all the penalty for our sin, and just past the cross the empty tomb testifies that He is risen! Death has been conquered and through Him we have everlasting life. A dove hovers above, representing new life in Jesus and the filling of the Holy Spirit, so pause to rejoice with the Apostle John as he looks back to that pivotal moment when God became man, providing the way of salvation. It will be there, as he points us forward to Christ’s return, that we catch a glimpse of the New Heaven and New Earth and begin to imagine the glorious future in store for faithful believers.