Saturday, October 12, 2013

Lubbock's Tattooed Jesus

According to Fox News on Oct. 10, there are 59 billboards around Lubbock, Texas showing Jesus covered in tattoos.

The billboards show Jesus wearing a crown of thorns with his arms outstretched. Across his bare chest and arms words such as 'outcast', 'addicted', 'jealous' and 'hatred' have been tattooed on his skin.

Needless to say, these billboards are shocking and offensive to some. However, there is an explanation behind the image.

Instead of insinuating that Jesus was tattooed, the group behind the billboards says it's part of a campaign to bring the message of Jesus’ love to everyone.

The aim of the billboards is to show how Jesus took on our sins on his body on the cross. Then after His death those sins were removed. However, it doesn't seem that way by merely seeing the billboards.

The billboards direct people to the website, where a video shows people coming to Jesus to have their sins cleansed.

During the six-minute video, a woman is seen having her tattoo of 'self righteous' changed to 'humbled' and a boy on crutches having 'outcast' changed to 'accepted' are among those who visit the tattoo parlor.

The video then shows the negative tattoos appearing on the body of Jesus, whose skin had been unblemished at the start of the film.

Jesus Tattoo Volunteer Jay Corner says:
There is controversy when our Lord and Savior was on this Earth, and one of the things He said and the things He did, and I know some people see this as a little bit of a controversy. What’s really cool about it is that it’s really a love story. As you get involved in it and you look at the video, I believe it draws you into that story.” 
The billboards are upsetting to many Christians living in the areas where the billboards are located because they see only the billboards without knowing the explanation behind them.

Some residents call the billboards blasphemous. However, David Wilson, pastor of Southcrest Baptist Church has praised its message:
"I thought that it was cleverly done because, basically, it's a visual of Jesus taking the sins of people and covering them and taking them from an outcast or something and giving them a new start, which is what the gospel is about."
The group behind the campaign that put up the 59 billboards across Lubbock in the past nine days, say they are not trying to sell anything.

According to the Daily Mail, Ashleigh Sawyer, the group's spokesman, said: "The message is a simple one, Jesus's love is transformative. He loves us unconditionally and no matter what you've been marked with, faith in Him and love for others will transform us."

The group plans to extend its billboard campaign to other regions.

Unfortunately, people are reacting to the billboard alone without knowing it is an object lesson to a much deeper meaning. Perhaps the billboard was not the right method for this message.

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