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Near the top of my “bucket list” for travel within the U.S. is a visit to the Black Hills of South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore. But I would also like to see another mountainside that features not four faces, but one – that of the Lakota leader, Crazy Horse. Unfortunately, this memorial is far from finished, even though it was begun in 1948. I’m told that the official plan is for this to be the largest sculpture in the world, featuring the Native American warrior astride a galloping horse. At this stage, however, only the face has been carved. The body of Crazy Horse has not even been started, not to mention the horse. But you get an idea of the vastness and grandeur of this project by simply looking at the head. For example, the face is 50% larger than the faces on Mount Rushmore, and the eyes are 17 feet wide!
Now, with that picture in mind, consider the church – the body of believers who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. His church is incomplete at this point. And from a human perspective, we might wonder if it will ever be complete; the blemishes are quite noticeable, church life often messy and spiritual maturity seemingly slow and even stalled at times. Yet, the Bible says of Jesus, “And he is the head of the body, the church… that in everything he might be preeminent” (Colossians 1:18). Thus, Jesus as the head of the body (the church) is perfect!
So, although the body is incomplete, our confidence comes from gazing at the head who is truly magnificent and beautiful. Having accomplished his mission in full by purchasing the church with his own blood (Acts 20:28), Jesus is now perfecting his church. One day in heaven he will present her “to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27). What a day that will be! A day in which we hear the words of Revelation 19:7-8, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready.”
Well, I do look forward to seeing Mount Rushmore; I probably won’t live long enough for the completion of Crazy Horse! But that’s okay because one day I’ll be part of something far beyond anything this earth could ever provide: The Body of Christ (the church) completed and worshiping him for all eternity. In heaven, I won’t simply gaze on a carved-out mountainside; I’ll gaze on the one who died for me! I will see him face to face (1 John 3:2). Surely, this makes us want to say with the apostle John in the next to the last verse of the Bible, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”