Although terrible news from Syria is all that we’ve heard recently, a new symbol of hope will tower over the country. Last month, a 40-foot statue of Jesus was erected on a Syrian mountaintop over which, in ancient times, pilgrims crossed en route from Constantinople to Jerusalem. The statue stands on a 65-foot base, bringing its total height to 105 feet.
While organizers worked on the site to complete the project, all sides in the Syrian civil war held a cease fire, proving peace is possible in the troubled nation.
Appropriately, it took three days to raise the statue, as it was three days after his crucifixion that Jesus was raised from the dead. It is also fitting that the statue is 40 feet tall: Jesus spent 40 days in the desert, where his devotion to God was tested. Forty is a number used throughout the Bible. (The flood lasted for 40 days and 40 nights and the Israelites were banished to 40 years in the Sinai desert.) Scholars believe the figure was used to mean a “significantly high number.”
The project to raise the Jesus statue in Syria started eight years ago and was appropriately named: I Have Come to Save the World.