Justin Bieber took a literal leap of faith when he took a jump off a high cliff in New Zealand on Wednesday — backwards.
The superstar launched off a cliff 109 meters over Queenstown’s Shotover River. Justin’s jump included a 200-meter swing along the river and a 60-meter vertical freefall down a rocky cliff face at the world-famous Shotover Canyon Swing & Canyon Fox outdoors reserve.
Bieber’s adrenalin-feat was witnessed by friends — Hillsong Church’s Pastor Carl Lentz, Josh Mehl, and staff — who stood on the launch platform with the Canadian and gave him a push as he leaped.
The Biebs’ and his small group have been enjoying New Zealand’s stunning landscape, sights, thrills — and thankfully — no spills during his teenie break, after he performed in Auckland just days ago with his sold-out stadium Purpose World Tour.
Wearing red pants and a white top, Justin’s backward jump and canyon swing were even more incredible to watch because his hands were clasped behind his head the entire time and he didn’t scream once.
The Grammy winner shared video footage of his heart-stopping experience on Instagram afterwards.
The 23-year-old captioned the clip, “#airbaptism #gracefall.”
Justin’s poignant caption suggests his cliff may have reaffirmed his commitment to Christianity and trust and faith in God.
Notably, while the pop megastar was being prepped by staff just before his leap, he said, “Jesus.”Bieber was brought up as a Christian by his born-again mother as a child. He was subsequently re-baptized by Lentz in a bathtub during a fraught period of his life in 2014.
Bieber’s leap comes a day after he debuted new bear and eagle chest tattoos in an Instagram story.
Justin posted one pic in the story to reveal his tattoos using an over-exposed filter. He is seen shirtless and lying down on what appears to be a tattooist’s work table.
In a second post, he is seen in a video panning a phone camera along his chest to display his new inkings.
March 21: justin via instagram stories pic.twitter.com/K0ouJcLOvT
— Bieber-news.com (@yourbiebernews) March 21, 2017
March 21: justin via instagram stories pic.twitter.com/LNMxhrFgxX
— Bieber-news.com (@yourbiebernews) March 21, 2017
Bieber’s new eagle and bear body art add to the many tattoos the heartthrob has had inked since he was a teen. The eagle design shows a bird-of-prey with its wings outstretched. It is located directly below the pop icon’s recent “Son Of God” inking, which is also on his chest.
The “Love Yourself” star’s bear tattoo is further up the 23-year-old’s chest, just beneath a previously inked set of Roman numerals representing his mom, Pattie Mallette’s birthday.
Justin’s growing collection of tattoos includes a seagull (his first inking), a crown, a the word “forgive,” the word “Purpose” (which was inked to mark the release of his latest same-named album), the word “Patience,” a large cross, an “angel” tattoo of ex-girlfriend, Selena Gomez, other religious symbols, a lion, a knight, a jester, a tiny cross on his face,a koi fish, treble clef, two “LL’s” (Bieber previously said this is an instruction to “low lift,” and is to remind him to keep his head up whenever he feels down), a pair of wings on the back of his neck and more.
Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz on Justin Bieber: I Love Him, He’s a Good Kid and It’s Not My Job to Police Him http://t.co/xai6ekHaVC
— christen_nws (@ChristelijkNws) March 28, 2014
In past interviews, the singer said each of his tattoos has a special and specific meaning to him.
Inevitably, after visuals of the new inkings spread online, some Justin Bieber fans investigated possible meanings of his new body art.
One fan tweeted an Internet source which stated that while the eagle is commonly seen as a symbol of the U.S., its ancient symbology is connected to wisdom, power, mighty force, focus, masculine virility, timing, strength, freedom, opportunity, focus, and vision.
The Native Americans considered the eagle as a symbol of spiritual power and quest.
One text says the birds’ “ability to soar high above the mountains while bathed in brilliant sunlight made them the great messenger of the Gods.”
The source also said the “Native tribes on the plains believed that the eagle was the earthly incarnation of the Thunderbird, embodying thunder and lightning.”
Are you able to get the eagle feathers you need for ceremonies?
(Photo Credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service) pic.twitter.com/MD4ATzg1qg
— nativeamericacalling (@180099native) May 6, 2014
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) March 20, 2017
And the bear? Another Internet source states that Native Americans saw bears as links to the spiritual world and regarded them as great warriors demonstrating bravery, power, and incredible strength in the face of adversity.
The animal was seen as a way of inspiring people with courage to withstand physical and spiritual hardship. The bear as a spirit animal is in touch with the earth and cycles of nature, and is a powerful guide to support physical and emotional healing.”
In the Sioux Nation, in particular, the bear is “associated with healing and medicine.”
To that tribe, and perhaps other tribes, the bear represents protection, strength, bravery, motherhood, endurance, confidence, a deep connection with nature, resurrection, and spirituality.
If these meaning associations are part of Justin’s decision to get the eagle and bear tattoos, it comes amid a step-up in vicious — and in some cases, fabricated media reporting — on the superstar after his encounter with a “disrespectful” fan in Australia, and bizarre ongoing invasions of his privacy.
— MTV (@MTV) March 17, 2017
— billboard (@billboard) March 22, 2017
The day before the “Sorry” singer’s shock cliff jump he posted a reflective post of a black-and-white image.
The picture is a crossword on a surface which is made up of words describing positive qualities, next to a bowl of fruit.
The virtues are patience, gentleness, peace, kindness, love, joy, goodness, self-control, faithfulness, and self-control, and are things the Biebs is likely developing in himself — like everyone.
Beliebers once again got to work tracking down deeper meanings of the artist’s post, tracking it down to a quote about the “fruits of the spirit” in the bible’s Book of Galatians Chapter 5: Verses 22-23.
[Featured Image by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images]