Today we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Because I grew up and spent the first 40 years of my life in Atlanta I have always been very aware of Dr. King, his work toward the advancement of racial equality, and his overall contributions to modern society. I am thankful for men like Dr. King who dedicated their lives to the well-being and advancement of others.
Recently I had the opportunity to visit the MLK memorial in Washington, DC. I had never seen the monument before and was taken with its artistic and symbolic design. The artist chose to cut from a huge “mountain-like” piece of granite a middle section and then pull that section forward and carefully sculpt the likeness of Dr. King. Visitors literally pass through the “Mountain of Despair” on the way to the “Stone of Hope,” (the 30’ likeness of King) symbolically “moving through” the struggle as Dr. King did during his life.
As I’ve thought about the monument and considered its symbolism, both intended and some that I’ve developed. I see a lot of similarities to what God has done for us through Jesus and the art work displayed in DC.
Without Christ our lives are a mountain of despair. We are sinners and there’s no hope and no way to move to a right relationship with a Holy God (Romans 6:23). There’s nothing we can do to atone for our own sins and apart from God, the Artist, we are doomed to an eternity in hell (Ephesians 2:8-9). But God (two of my favorite words) loved us so much that He provided a way (John 3:16). He gave His One and Only Son, Jesus (the Stone of Hope) who willingly gave His life on the cross to pay for sins He never committed so that if we admit our sinfulness (Romans 3:23), repents and turn away from those sins, believe that only Jesus can save (John 14:6), and confess that Jesus is Savior and Lord (Romans 10:9-10), we can have salvation and a restored relationship with God (Romans 10:13)!
Today as we take time to remember a great man of history… don’t forget THE SON OF MAN who saves us from our sins. Take time today to praise Jesus, our Stone of Hope, who moves us past our mountain of despair to an eternity in heaven.