’Touchdown Jesus’ Statue Destroyed in Lightning Strike Near Dayton, Ohio

On June 14tha bolt of lightning struck Solid Rock Church’s 62-foot statue of Jesus that was an iconic symbol for motorists on the I-75 highway.  The fire from the statue spread quickly to the church amphitheatre.  Damages are estimated at $700,000.

“Touchdown Jesus” and “Big Butter Jesus” were names both fondly describing this statue by its residents because of its appearance.  The statue’s arms raised in victory was seen parallel to a referee’s motion after touchdown in football. “Big Butter Jesus” is a song written by Heywood Banks describing the statue’s resemblance to molded butter.

Onlookers were quick to point out that the Hustler sign across the street was spared from the fire and likened the lightning strike to a direct message from God.  “God struck God…I like the irony,” pointed out one by-stander who came expressly to see the fire blazing near midnight local time.

Obviously, the statue meant a lot to its residents.  It was a landmark; it was something they claimed as Dayton’s heritage, not only the church’s property.  If they poked fun at how it looked, then it was within their rights to do so.   It was a shared community experience, one that the people of Dayton collectively had in common. That the statue was a representation of Jesus is almost beside the point.

As Christians, we know that Jesus doesn’t reside within a statue or a temple or a picture.  God does not secretly prefer Hustler over Jesus, nor is He trying to condemn this statue as idolatry.  We cannot claim to know God’s message to us through a lightning strike.  We have His message already, written out, word for word in the Holy Bible.

Cassie Brown, a member of the Solid Rock Church, said it best by reminding us, “The statue can be destroyed and gone, but Jesus can’t be.”

Touchdown, Cassie Brown.

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  1. john1965 said:

    I am sad to see it gone, i am so used to seeing it there when I drive by, however, “God struck God…I like the irony,” we all know that God did not strike God, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above.. I agree with Britton, we know that Jesus doesn’t reside within a statue or a temple or a picture. we have him in our hearts and he dwells in us through the Holy Spirit.

    June 15, 2010
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  2. Junix Ronquillo said:

    I really wonder sometimes if Jesus intends or wants us to build statues of himself or build monuments for him. I know the intention is good but, I know it has been commanded in the Old Testament “not to build or create” images of anything under the heavens or in the earth for men to worship. But sometimes, we people just can’t stop adoring something we made. Is that a kind of idolatry?

    June 15, 2010
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  3. bmill9xx said:

    I think that the stature was an insult to JESUS.

    June 16, 2010
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  4. Junix Ronquillo said:

    right on! bmill9xx. Anyway I read somewhere that the original Jesus Painting was of a Latino Model.. Jesus surely doesn’t look like that and He sure doesn’t play football.. No offense meant but it’s really troublesome..

    June 17, 2010
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