It’s a typical day. You’re just driving down the highway, listening to the radio, thinking about the events of the day. There’s the normal traffic and people rushing to get to their destinations. Then, a particular billboard catches your eye. It depicts a familiar person, Jesus. This Jesus, however, has tattoos all over His body. The tattoos spell out words – outcast, addicted, and jealous. What’s your reaction to this billboard?
If you’re like some who saw this billboard in West Lubbock, Texas, it didn’t sit very well. Some were quite offended and called it “blasphemous” (csmonitor). Others thought it was a clever way of bringing people’s attention to Jesus. But if we put our feelings away, what is this billboard trying to say? What’s the point? The billboard is communicating that Jesus’ actions at the cross took our sins away. He, in a sense, took our sins with Him to the cross so that we bear them no more.
While this billboard could have, and possibly should have, been conveyed less provocatively, the message is right. If it weren’t for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we would have no way to have our sins forgiven. We would be stained, blemished, and tainted by the marks of our sinfulness. Let’s praise the Lord, that “though Jesus knew no sin, He became sin on our behalf” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Let’s esteem the fact that Christ “redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13-14). And thanks be to God that Christ was “offered once to bear the sins of many” (Hebrews 9:28).
With Jesus’ honorable sacrifice, we can have all our sins wiped clean when we obey His commands (Acts 2:37-38; Matthew 7:21-27). Paul said it best in Romans 5:6-8, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
What an incredible act of love this was. He died for us so that we could live for Him. Are we?