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Seeking Jesus, Class 14: Learn of Me, Part 2

Episode Transcript

Seeking Jesus, Class 14: Learn of Me, Part 2

Let’s start this video with a quiz. I’ll ask you three true-false questions. Don’t make this hard, just go with your gut on each question.

Question #1: True or false: Jesus was nailed to the cross, and the thieves next to him were tied to their respective crosses.

Question #2: True or false: Christ on the cross was at least six feet higher than the onlookers at the cross.

Last question: True or false: The Scriptures speak of Christ being crucified on a hill called Calvary.

We’ll come back to these questions in just a moment, but first I want to highlight that this is our second class where we focus on ways to draw closer to Jesus Christ and to learn of him. In the first class like this (which was the second class of the course), we talked about learning of Christ through living prophets, the scriptures, modern scholarship and personal experiences. Today we’ll focus on coming closer to Christ through artwork, movies and music. These artistic media can help us to connect with Jesus Christ in powerful ways. There is, however, a danger when it comes to learning of Christ through artwork, and it’s that art is not always intended to mirror reality.

Latter-day Saint artist Walter Rane said, “I don’t feel like as an artist I have a responsibility to be historically accurate unless someone has commissioned me [to do so]. Art is self-expression. Art is communication. …If I’m trying to express something that is important to me, I’ll do whatever I want. If it means putting Christ in contemporary clothing, or whatever, if it’s important to the message I’m trying to make then I’ll do it.”

In other words, if we base our understanding of historical details on art, we might wind up with mistaken ideas. Here’s a simple illustration of art influencing how we picture scriptural scenes. Imagine Abinadi in your mind. How old is he? What kind of physical shape is King Noah in? What kind of pet does King Noah have? Whatever answers you’re giving are probably based on a painting, because the Book of Mormon says nothing about Abinadi’s age, King Noah’s physique, or any of his pets. Let’s return to the questions I asked you: True or false? Jesus was nailed to the cross while the thieves were tied with ropes.

A lot of people say “true” to this question, basing their answer on a Harry Anderson painting, which is not intended to portray crucifixion in an historically accurate manner. The Romans had various methods for crucifying people, including both nails and ropes. We know that Jesus was crucified with nails because the marks of the nails are still in the hands and feet of the resurrected Jesus. It’s technically possible that the thieves were crucified with ropes, but it seems strange that there would be a different method of crucifixion for them when all three individuals were being crucified at the same time.

Our second question was about Christ being at least six feet higher than the onlookers at the cross.

I remember watching a movie in which the crucifiers used a pulley system to hoist Christ up on the cross. Media like this, influence us to think of Christ as high off the ground when he was crucified. 

But on some days the Romans crucified hundreds of people. Would they really build scaffolds and pulleys for all of them? Doubtful. The most ancient images we have of crucifixion depict the person being crucified as only a little bit shorter than the cross itself. In other words, if the average person in Galilee was 5 and a half feet tall, crosses would be about 6 or 7 feet tall. That changes the way you view the crucifixion. It’s not that Jesus is way up in the distance talking to people down below, they’re at eye level. When Jesus talks to his mother at the cross, he’s looking at her and she’s looking at him, almost face to face.

Our third question had to do with whether the scriptures speak of a hill on Calvary. You’re probably noticing the trend; the answer to this question is also false. Although our beloved hymn says, “We’ll sing all hail to Jesus’ name, And praise and honor give, To him who bled on Calvary’s hill, And died that we might live,” the scriptures don’t say anything about Calvary being a hill. That’s a later Christian tradition—not scriptural.

What I’ve tried to show is that artwork, movies and music can change the way we picture scriptural scenes. That’s not to say they’re bad, but rather to remind us that they are influencing us, and we sometimes need to do some fact checking for historical accuracy.

Although this is a challenge, it doesn’t need to detract from the many things we can learn and feel from artistic media. I also appreciate the variety media can bring to our focus on Christ. I love studying the scriptures; at the same time, there’s a limit to how much scripture study a person can do on a given day. Studying the Savior through these other mediums provides additional avenues to focus on Christ. And ultimately, that’s the goal. President Russell M. Nelson taught, “Nothing invites the Spirit more than fixing your focus on Jesus Christ.” My hope is that our discussion today will give you ideas of additional ways to focus on our Redeemer.

Let’s start with artwork. Sometimes art can help us learn more about a scriptural moment. For example, consider these images of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. In Matthew 17 we learn that Jesus brought Peter, James, and John to a mountain; “[Jesus] was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias [Elijah] talking with him” (Matthew 17:2–3).

Joseph Smith taught that at the Mount of Transfiguration, priesthood keys were given to Peter, James, and John. Later Peter, James, and John came to restore the priesthood in modern times. So what’s being portrayed in the picture on the right is important to theology in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the artwork invites us to learn more about it.

Another benefit of art is that it gives us an opportunity to feel what is being portrayed. I love this image of Christ healing the son of the Widow of Nain. As Jesus approached the village he saw a funeral procession—a widow’s only son had died. One thing that’s unique about this story is that the woman doesn’t ask Jesus to help her, the Savior initiates contact. Luke records, “When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.” (Luke 7:13). Can you see those words applying to you? Jesus sees you, has compassion on you, and doesn’t want you to weep. Christ raises the woman’s son from the dead, showing us how Christ reaches out—even in our most desperate circumstances.

As you look at this image, what strikes you? What moves you or gives you an insight?

This art helps us see the emotion that the widow and those who were with her must have felt. The scriptures don’t go into detail about how all the people were affected by this miracle, but this painting helps us visualize their varied reactions.

When it comes to artwork portraying Jesus Christ, we have literally centuries worth of powerful examples. Consider this painting from the fifteenth century. Here the artist focuses us on Christ’s Crucifixion, and in particular on the wound from the Savior’s side.

While this is a moment that some of us might not want to carefully consider, the author of the Gospel of John felt it was of great importance. Note these words: “One of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe” (John 19:34–35‎)‎. Note the repetition, emphasizing that blood and water really came forth from the Savior’s side. Why did the author emphasize this?

One reason could be that Christ’s wounded side offers us the hope of becoming a new creation in Jesus Christ. The Greek word used for Jesus’s “side” is also used to refer to Adam’s rib in the Greek translation of the Old Testament. Just as Adam’s side was a key symbolic part of Creation, the wound in Jesus’s side is a symbolic token of our rebirth in him. We find additional significance in Christ’s side being pierced in the Savior’s declaration “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37–38, KJV) The blood and water pouring from Christ’s side provide everlasting life to all who come unto him. Pondering an artistic scene such as this one can provide rich spiritual insight.

There are literally tens of thousands of images we could learn from; if you’d like to see more examples of Christ-centered art, visit the course website. As I began to explore artwork related to the Savior, I started to wonder, how does the earliest artwork of Jesus depict him? What is, in fact, the earliest image we have of Jesus Christ? As far as scholars can determine, the earliest dateable image we have of Jesus comes from about the year 230 AD. Although it’s hard to make out the details, it’s an image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. He’s wearing a short tunic and carrying a lamb.

Other early images of Christ follow this same pattern. A painting dating to about 250 AD shows Jesus as the Good Shepherd. We see the same image in a statue that dates to about 280 AD. Jesus said that he was the Good Shepherd, and the earliest artwork of Jesus commemorates that. In John 10 we read,

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:11-15).

I can imagine someone living in about 250 AD, seeing these images and thinking of Jesus as the Good Shepherd who laid down his life and feeling connected with him.

Note that these early images portray a young Jesus wearing a short tunic, short hair and no beard. That’s different than our standard image of Jesus. The two images you see on the right are more modern, but notice this image on the left. Although it dates to 400 AD, it’s essentially the standard Jesus image we have today. Jesus is wearing long robes, and has long hair and a full beard. We might ask ourselves, is this an accurate portrayal of the Savior?

I remember when I was growing up, some of the older boys at church would grow their hair long and their moms would say, “You have to cut your hair!” and the boys would say, “No, Jesus had long hair! I’m trying to be like Jesus.” I always thought, “Game over. That’s the end of the discussion—of course we should try to be like Jesus, and he has long hair.” But did the average Jewish male at the time of Christ have long hair?

Just two decades after Jesus’s death, the apostle Paul wrote, “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?” (1 Corinthians 11:14). To be clear, I’m not trying make any statements about modern hairstyles. My point is that however we got to a long-haired Jesus, it may not be historically accurate. Styles can change, but if Paul is saying it’s shameful for man to have long hair two decades after Jesus, Jesus was probably not walking around with long hair.

So what did Jesus really look like? A scholar named Joan Taylor wrote a great book on this subject. She says, the average Galilean male “Was probably around 5 feet 5 inches tall, somewhat slim and reasonably muscular, with olive-brown skin, dark brown to black hair and brown eyes. He was likely bearded (but not heavily, or with a long beard), with shortish hair…”

This is Anthony Sweat’s rendition of an historically accurate Jesus—showing what a 1st century Galilean would have looked like. It’s worth asking ourselves the question: Is trying to accurately portray Jesus’ physical appearance in artwork important? Why or why not? Some have suggested that portraying Christ accurately from an historical perspective will help us better see the human side of Christ.

Joan Taylor wrote that even picturing Christ’s clothing correctly is helpful because clothing is connected to what people value. Notice how in this picture Jesus is wearing long robes. But Jesus taught, “Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts” (Luke 20:46). This seems to indicate that Jesus did not wear long robes—he criticizes those who do. Long robes suggest expensive clothing, and Jesus didn’t have a lot of money. Joan Taylor writes, “Jesus aligned himself with the poor and this would have been obvious from how he looked. The appearance of Jesus matters because it cuts to the heart of his message. However he is depicted in film and art today, he needs to be shown as one of the have-nots; his teaching can only be truly understood from this perspective.”

Thus in some circumstances, it is helpful to have portrayal of Jesus a first-century Galilean to accentuate humanity and his teachings. On the other hand, art is more than historical accuracy. Consider the value of depicting Jesus in racially diverse ways. Artist Akili Anderson created a portrayal of a black Jesus at the Last Supper gathered around with black apostles. Commenting on this artwork, which was placed in a church building, Anderson said, “I think it’s important for black children sitting in churches all over this country on Sunday morning to look up at the windows, look up at images and see themselves and believe that they can ascend to heaven, too.”

One author wrote, “To understand [African portrayals of a black Christ], one should realize that there is no intention of suggesting that Jesus the Jew who lived in Palestine in the 1st century was actually a black African. What is being expressed is the connection, perceived in African Christian faith, between Jesus the universal Saviour and black people. What is being portrayed is the loving solidarity of Christ who identifies in love with all people, black people included.”

As another example of a racially diverse depiction of Christ, a Latter-day Saint woman from Cambodia painted an image of a Cambodian Jesus reaching out to and blessing the Cambodian children who surround him. Jesus wasn’t Cambodian, he wasn’t black, and he wasn’t a white European. Artists will portray Christ differently, in ways that connect with them, their culture or their background.

In the year 2020, the leader of the Church of England addressed the issue of how his church portrays Jesus’s race. He said that in many locations of the Anglican church Jesus was already represented other than as a white man, saying, “You go into their churches and you don't see a White Jesus – you see a Black Jesus, or Chinese Jesus, or a Middle Eastern Jesus – which is of course the most accurate. You see a Fijian Jesus – you see Jesus portrayed in as many ways as there are cultures, languages and understandings.”

Regardless of whether an image is historically accurate, we can see beauty in diverse depictions of Jesus reaching out and connecting with each one of us wherever and whoever we are.

Take a moment to think about artwork and your life. Could exploring artwork centered on the Savior strengthen you spiritually? Could you have more Christ-centered artwork on your phone? Your computer? Could your home include more Christ-centered artwork? How could you come closer to Christ through art?

Well, we could have a whole semester course on Jesus in artwork—probably multiple courses. But let’s shift now to movies—and we could also have an entire course just on Jesus in the movies because Hollywood has had a lot to say about the Savior. My first memory of watching a movie about Jesus is as a nineteen-year-old in the Missionary Training Center. A large group of missionaries gathered to watch The Lamb of God.  As I saw the Savior nailed to the cross, the Spirit washed over me and testified to me that what I was seeing really happened.

I’m embarrassed to say this, but for many years, the only movies about Jesus that I was aware of were those produced by the Church. The Church has made some great films about the Savior, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. Lately I’ve been talking with more and more people who are familiar with The Chosen and I love that show. In addition to The Chosen and movies produced by the Church, there are many more! On the screen you can see some of my favorites, and if you go to the website for this course you can link to many movies about Christ.

As we’ve already discussed, movies, like art, can significantly influence how we think about Jesus. My colleague Matt Grey shared how movies can be a catalyst for learning about the Savior. He wrote, “For me, placing Jesus films, the New Testament text, and historical sources into thoughtful conversation has prompted valuable questions that I might not otherwise have asked about a wide range of issues, including Jesus’s appearance, personality, teachings, and ongoing social relevance, as well as the nature of scriptural writings. Often these questions come as I find myself wondering why film directors made certain decisions, how I might have presented things differently as a believing historian, and what the implications of those decisions might be for the spiritual experience of the viewers. I often find that asking those type of questions facilitates richer inspiration as a teacher, academic insights as a scholar, and spiritual experiences as a believer, all of which have been a great blessing in my personal efforts to get to know Jesus better.”

This is a great approach to watching films about the Savior.

Now, there’s a limit to what we can do with movies in this video, due to copyright restrictions, but I want to try a couple of activities. First, imagine that you are directing a movie about Jesus Christ, and one of the scenes contains John 5:37-47. I’ll read them out loud for you, from the King James Version but I’m going to intentionally read them without expression because I don’t want to bias you as the director. How would you direct the actor playing Jesus to say these words?

“The Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?”

Now that you’ve heard a flat narration, and had the opportunity to think about how you would direct this scene, let’s watch a two minute clip from the movie The Gospel of John. This movie was released in theaters in 2003. It’s a production of the Canadian company Visual Bible International and includes the entire text of the Gospel According to John, using the Good News Bible. Note how the filmmakers depict Jesus in this scene. How does their conception agree with or differ from yours?

Alright movie critics, what do you think? I’ve talked to some people who hate this clip and say something like, “That is totally inaccurate, Jesus does not talk or act like that.” And they could be right—I’m not claiming that this movie is accurate. But it can give us a perspective to think about. After all, Jesus says some tough things in this passage, like, “You don’t have God’s love in you.” How do you say that nicely?

Again, I am not suggesting that this clip accurately portrays how Jesus talks, but it can give us a perspective to think about. Often film depictions of Jesus show him healing, loving a child, holding a butterfly and we wonder, “How could anybody want to kill Jesus?” A scene such as this one helps us understand the confrontations that occurred between Jesus and the Jewish authorities. The entire movie of “The Gospel of John” is available for free on YouTube. I encourage you to watch it!

Let’s try a different film activity. We’re going to watch three different movie portrayals of the same scene, where Jesus is at a wedding feast, and they run out of wine. Again, I’ll read the verses from the King James Version. As I do, visualize how you would direct things if you were filming a scene that included these verses.

“And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it” (John 2:1–5).

Let’s now watch a short snippet from three films that depict this scene—how do the different interpretations agree or disagree with how you pictured the scene?

What did you notice? In the King James text, Jesus’s response to his mother seems to be rude. How did the different directors handle this issue? In the first clip, which was produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they used the Joseph Smith Translation, in which Jesus speaks respectfully to his mother. The clip from The Chosen adds additional dialogue to the scriptural text. In fact, all the clips in one way or another provide additional details that aren’t in the scriptural text.

One message I want to highlight was consistent in each video clip—what Mary says in verse 5.

She tells the servants, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). What a great message for us to think about when it comes to Jesus Christ: “Do whatever he tells you.” That was Mary’s advice to the servants at the feast, and it’s good advice for us as well.

I hope these videos have given you a little taste for ways in which movies about Jesus Christ can be both enjoyable and increase our understanding of him.

Think about how movies could help you connect with Christ. Could watching movies centered on the Savior strengthen you spiritually? We’re all busy people—how could we carve out some time in our schedules to watch movies about Jesus? In addition, are there ways we could help others draw closer to the Savior by watching Christ centered movies with them?

Let’s turn to music.

Do you remember how at the Last Supper, just before leaving to Gethsemane, Christ and his disciples sang a hymn? Music can strengthen us in difficult times. We don’t know what hymn they sang that night, but scholar Eric Huntsman wrote, “This was likely one of the so-called Hallel Psalms (Psalms 113-118), which are traditionally sung at joyful holidays, especially Passover. The focus of these psalms in blessing the Lord, trusting in him, and crying for salvation fit the occasion, both of Passover generally and of Jesus’ Passion in particular.”

In fact, if we can combine movies and music for a moment, in the Church’s video, The Lamb of God, the Last Supper Scene ends with a hymn. My colleague Joshua Sears pointed out that the disciples are singing in Hebrew, and they are singing the first few verses of Psalm 113. On the screen, you can see the Hebrew, with the English translation (the greyed out sections are omitted in the song). Let’s take a listen.

If we were to keep reading Psalm 113, we find powerful verses that relate to Christ. Imagine if these words from Psalm 113 were part of the hymn that was sung at the last supper: “Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust, lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes…” (Psalm 113:5–8). What might the Savior felt singing those words on that night? He had come from the heavens to raise the poor from the dust and to lift up each one of us.

Music strengthened Christ before Gethsemane, and it can surely strengthen us as well. Recently, I’ve been thinking about the song, “If the Savior Stood Beside Me.” Some of the lyrics say, “If the Savior stood beside me, Would I do the things I do? … “If the Savior stood beside me, Would I say the things I say?” When I first heard that song, I thought of the lyrics as saying, “Thinking about having Jesus next to you will help you avoid bad choices.” And that’s true. But lately, I’ve been thinking about that song from a different perspective. Imagine you’ve just experienced a devastating loss. If the Savior were standing beside you in this difficult time, how might that change what you do, say, and feel? Because the Savior does stand beside us, we can have strength. Like scripture, sacred music can touch our hearts can help us through difficult times.

Music can also be a catalyst for feeling the Holy Ghost. The first time I remember feeling the Spirit is when I was a young child and I heard a woman sing the song “I Heard Him Come.” My guess is that you have also had experiences in your life where music has helped you directly connect to heaven.

There is a long history of worshipping Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through music. Although there weren’t many movies about Jesus back in the days of Moses, in Exodus 15 Moses says, “I will sing unto the Lord” (Exodus 15:1). A few centuries later, Psalm 9 talks about “Sing[ing] praises to the Lord” (Psalm 9:11). Note this powerful passage from Colossians: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… teaching…one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16). Or in the modern day, the Lord has said, “My soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me” (Doctrine and Covenants 25:12).

Let’s listen to a few seconds of the earliest known Christian hymn that has both lyrics and music. This hymn was written more than 1,700 years ago.

While that particular hymn might not move you in the same way it did early Christians, it illustrates a long history of Christ-centered music. The Christian theologian Saint Augustine, writing in about 400 AD, commented on the Christian worship music of his day. He said, “I realize that when they are sung, these sacred words stir my mind to greater religious fervor and kindle in me a more ardent flame of piety than they would if they were not sung; and I also know that there are particular modes in song and in the voice, corresponding to my various emotions and able to stimulate them because of some mysterious relationship between the two” (St. Augustine, Confessions). I don’t know how that “mysterious relationship” works, but there is no doubt that there is power in Christ-centered music.

In our day, President Russell M. Nelson has talked repeatedly about the importance of sacred music. Let’s just look at a brief clip from him speaking at the 2021 Youth Music Festival.

In context, President Nelson was speaking at event where youth around the world had gathered to hear sacred music. I love how he describes his hope that listening to music together has connected them. That same idea is present if we think across the centuries of Christian music.

For example, our hymnbook contains the hymn, “Jesus, the Very thought of Thee.” The lyrics are about 1,000 years old. When we sing this hymn, we’re not just singing with the people in our congregation, we are singing with millions and millions of people across the centuries and continents who have sung these same words.

One word that has been used in song throughout the centuries is Hallelujah, which you probably know means “Praise the Lord.” For example, in Psalms 106 we read, “Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” (v1). The Hebrew phrase translated as “praise ye the Lord” is essentially “Hallelujah.” This word appears in ancient music, traditional hymns, as well as contemporary Christian songs. Remember that the next time you sing the word “Hallelujah.” Listen to how this one word has been used in different ways across the centuries.

Copyright rules prevent me from playing lengthy music clips, but it’s clear that for centuries music has been helping people draw closer to Christ. There are medieval chants about the Savior and classical works like those by Bach or Mozart or Handel. Many of us are familiar with traditional hymns, which are a powerful way to connect with Christ. The Sacred Music app produced by the Church has some great modern renditions of hymns as well as other contemporary music produced by the church.

I also love the broader genre of contemporary Christian music. Recently, I’ve been listening to modern Christian music in Spanish and Portuguese. Did you know that following the United States, Brazil and Mexico respectively have the second and third largest Christian populations in the world? I was recently listening to a contemporary Christian song in Spanish. It has more than 500 million YouTube views and tens of thousands of comments in Spanish praising Jesus Christ. Watching this video reminded me that I’m part of a global Christian community. If you speak a second language, you might consider exploring music in that language—it can not only help you personally, it can also be a bridge as you share the gospel with others. If you’d like to explore both ancient and modern Christian music, I’ve placed a curated list of Christ-centered music on the course website.

One young adult recently wrote me the following, “To further focus my studies on Christ, I decided to work on being more intentional with my music. And I have seen the most incredible change just in the past few weeks! I feel like I’m always listening to music, and although it’s never bad music, it’s never particularly brought me closer to Christ. As I’ve been focusing on Christ-centered music, I’ve been able to see God's hand in my life more. I can recognize the promptings of the Spirit better and I am just overall more peaceful and genuinely happy.”

That’s the power of Christ-centered music. Again, take a moment to think about application. I’m guessing you already have a good Sunday playlist. Is there a way to have a playlist that’s specifically focused on Jesus Christ? Could exploring a variety of genres of Christ centered music help you draw closer to the Savior? We talked about diversity in artwork, and the same principles can apply to music.

Today we’ve talked about connecting with Christ through artwork, movies and music. My hope is that there’s something that got you excited. That you’re thinking, “Oooh I’d love to watch that movie!” or “I could really get into this kind of music,” or “I’d love to explore more artistic depictions of Jesus Christ.”

I personally have found myself drawing closer to Christ through artwork, movies, and music, and I hope that the same thing will continue to be true for each of us.