[First published 7 April 2012] Upon reading my brief review of Heaven Is For Real did you, too, not end up asking that question?
Whilst reading the book I was most interested in this simply because Jesus’ face had been out of sight during my encounter, as explained here (at 1st Validation). Also, I was aware of pictures of Jesus found in New Age circles but did not regard them as authentic, just stylistic like many religious paintings.
Can you imagine how deeply stunned Todd and Sonja Burpo were whilst driving with their two children to hear their 4 years-old boy suddenly say he’d heard angels and met Jesus Christ?
From the back seat little Colton pipes up in answer to a gentle tease about hospital by saying what mum and dad were doing whilst he was dying on an operating table with a severely ruptured appendix that’s poisoned his abdomen. It wasn’t so much his accurate description of what they were doing in two different places – on the phone and praying; well, losing it with God! – that hit them! (Only much later did his father learn the finer points of how that prayer of desperation was answered!)
They had to stop at a nearby snack bar to hear again, and digest, Colton’s very quick account of what happened whilst being operated upon. As only a young child can, he described being with Jesus. Over the course of many weeks a fuller account gradually emerged, usually popping out during play times, of what Jesus looks like and of many things Colton ‘did and saw’ during minutes, not hours, of earth time. There was also, and more importantly, what Colton knew. Almost all of this could not be attributed to any teaching or children’s Bible stories!
The first answer to what Jesus looked like was the answer to a spiritual ‘riddle’ : what’s the only thing in heaven that’s the same as it was on earth?
He’d said, right off bat, “Jesus has markers”.
His father claims Colton didn’t know about the crucifixion wounds at that age because their Weslyan church made no references to or had any pictures of them. For nearly three years his parents would show Colton many illustrations depicting Jesus but they all left him cold. He never saw one that he thought was right. He just could not recognise Jesus in any.
One day his father came across a CNN report of a young girl Akiane Kramarik, a child prodigy who began painting exceptionally sophisticated artwork at the age of 6 years. A couple of years previously she’d begun having ‘visions’ of heaven, even though both her parents were atheists! To learn how she saw and painted Him, read For child art prodigy Akiane, Jesus is for real at God Reports.
The authors of Heaven Is For Real write, ‘Slowly her mom began to accept that Akiane’s visions were real and that, therefore, God must be real’.
As I watched (writes Todd) a montage of Akiane’s artwork play across my computer screen, the narrator said, “Akiane describes God as vividly as she paints him”. (p 143)
That was similar to how Colton spoke of Jesus – both children spoke especially about His beautiful eyes. So his father told Colton to come and take a look, asking what was wrong with this one. The boy said nothing, just stared, and he was asked again – still silence and then he got nudged:
My seven-year-old turned to look at me and said, “Dad, that one’s right”.
Entitled “Prince of Peace, Resurrection”, this portrait appears in Akiane’s Official Gallery under ‘Age 8’ header and at 9 years she shows Jesus praying, “Father Forgive Them”.
Below, Ray Downing demonstrates how the picture Colton saw matches the image of the deceased Christ as captured millennia ago on The Shroud of Turin.
Also, watch Colton aged 11 tell his story on video on Heaven Is For Real Ministries.
LATEST – read about the deep effect this painting has upon many, with confirmations!
- On Akiane, see Wikipedia, and for all her paintings visit Akiane gallery.
- The Shroud of Turin Website – extensive research library updated MAY 2022
- On the Shroud’s quantum dynamics, see this post under ‘A Tableau in Time’.: