'Christ In The Smokies'...
Nov 4, 2011
|Today's post covers our visit to the 'Christ In The Smokies' Museum and Prayer Garden located in Gatlinburg, one block off the main drag on River Road. We purchased our tickets online, saving $3 each on the $12 per person entrance fee for this well loved attraction. I should mention that they also offer free parking, a rarity here in Gatlinburg. Most parking is a 'Pay All Day' lot, ranging from $5-$8.00.
As we entered the Museum we first noticed a life-sized figure of the Apostle Paul. Amazing detail all the way down to the period clothing. Our tour began with a brief film covering the story of the Old Testament, from the seven days of Creation through the death of the Prophet Moses. Filmed in the "Holy Land", many of the events were filmed on the actual location in which they took place. Also in the theater were life-sized figures of the patriarch Abraham, the prophet Moses and a replica of the Ten Commandments.
Afterward we moved into the entrance of the main exhibit where we listened to One Solitary Life before moving to the first biblical scene. I'd like to share that with you now:
One Solitary Life - By Dr James Allen Francis
He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then, for three years, He was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a home. He never lived in a big city or traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself.
When He was only 33, the tide of public opinion turned against Him. His friends deserted Him. He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for His garments, the only property He had on earth. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave, through the pity of a friend.
Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today He is the central figure for much of the human race.
All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that have ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned-put together- have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as has this One Solitary Life.
Inside the main exhibit, original music, dramatic lighting and special effects all brought to life the greatest story ever told as we traveled the Holy Land alongside Jesus Christ on his journey on this earth. Beautiful murals acted as the backdrop in many of the scenes. The stunning figures, over 100 of them, came to life, while accompanied by moving scripture and narration by Stephen Knowles.
We were truly moved as we witnessed the events that took place more than 2,000 years ago. There were 12 scenes including the Nativity, Jesus in the Temple, The Baptism of Christ, the Temptation of Christ, The Blindman, the Sermon on the Mount, Little Children, the Last Supper, Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, and the Ascension. The Last Supper was laid out in vibrant colors and intricate detail, making us feel as if we were sitting at the right hand of Christ as He spent His last hours with His disciples. And the Ascension was, well, just awesome!
As we departed the main hall, we spent a few moments in the prayer garden reflecting on the life of Christ and what His sacrifice meant for us as we checked out the seven foot bronze statue entitled 'Christ the Redeemer' and the bronze praying hands fountain.
On the other side of the prayer garden stood, 'The Face of Christ' sculpture, thought by some to be the centerpiece of the attraction, measuring eight feet tall by four feet wide and one foot deep. The face alone is three feet tall. This awe inspiring sculpture has been carved in such a concave manner that as you walk back and forth in front of it, the entire face seems to move in your direction. A smoky mountain range is also carved into the block along with the verse, “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always” from 1 Chronicles 16:11. It was sculpted by Otto Preske of Gatlinburg, renowned throughout the Southeastern United States for his beautiful work.
After leaving the patio prayer garden a number of exhibits are presented. Rare coins and gems, along with other artifacts from the Holy Land are on display. There are over 60 coins in the collection, such as the widow’s mite and the daric, the first coin mentioned in the Bible. There is also frankincense, myrrh and the gifts of the magi mentioned in the Christmas story. Just a small part of the many artifacts that have been brought here from the Holy Land. The tour’s conclusion was a display of rare movie posters and photography from films covering the Life of Christ. Some of these movies and photos are over one-hundred years old.
Unfortunately, photographing is prohibited inside the main exhibits to protect the integrity of the figures and the costumes. However, I did find a couple of photos posted on the KnoxNews website, so you will get a glimpse of a few of the scenes. I wanted to take pictures so badly, but I was "a good girl" and followed the rules.
I did find a video on Youtube that shares many of the scenes at the Museum as well as the audio portion of 'One Solitary Life'. If you have 3 minutes to spare, please watch it! You will be blessed! One Solitary Life
There's no possible way to convey what our feelings and thoughts were as we moved from scene to scene. So, let me just say that this is a wonderful place to visit if you happen to be in the Gatlinburg, TN area. Whether you’re a life-long student of the Bible or have only recently become interested in its teachings, the dramatic retelling of Christianity’s beginnings at this Museum certainly inspires and enlightens. We loved it!