Yup, Jesus is inked up.
He’s got ink, engravings, & piercing. You think that’s wrong? Would you really recognize him today?
– Rev. 19:16 – on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.
- He has an ink, name, tattoo on His body.
– Is. 49:16 – See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands
- He has a name engraving for each person He loves. Your name is permanently before Him.
– John 19:2 – The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head.
– Matt. 27:26 – But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
- He has engravings that symbolize His love for you. He doesn’t have them to recall the pain, but to mark His love in every situation. To remind us that He will never give up on us.
– John 20:25,27 – So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”… Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
- He has major piercings. Yup, all these are still there today.
Most people look over these instances and go straight to:
– Lev. 19:28 – ‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.
All of Jesus marks were for the living, and clearly He is okay with that. He is not okay with the culture where you put the name of the person you murdered on you.
There is a true, and a false, purpose for tattoos, just like there is a true & false purpose for everything. The truth is good. Tattoos can remind us of our covenant, and give us courage to walk through those difficult times. They can be life giving, God promoting, and a sign to all. We are called to be examples of Christ.
– Sos. 8:6-7 – Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.
– Rev. 22:4 – They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
– Rev. 14:1 – Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
Advertising has gone crazy these days. It’s everywhere. Why not pick up the pace? We are called to share the gospel, so why not take it to the next level? We are His walking, breathing billboards. People love to ask about tattoos; what a great way to start a conversation with someone that could lead to salvation! Plus, companies are already paying people to get tattoos of their logos. Why not turn this marketing scheme toward the true purpose, since thigh, hand, back, chest, arm, and even face tattoos are in the Bible. God says He tattoo’s His name on our foreheads. If we’re going to have it for all eternity, might as well start now.
God loves to make culture from survived hardships. The Israelites yearly Passover meal has multiple things that are done to remind them of the sorrow of Egyptian slavery, and more importantly how God brought them out. These traditions celebrate God’s faithfulness through hardships. The pain of getting a tattoo can remind you of the hard times, and the tattoo itself can remind you of His goodness.
It’s not what’s written on your skin that makes you holy, or unholy, but what is written on your heart (Matt. 15:11 & 1 Peter 3:21). Write his laws upon your heart and keep them on your mind (Jer. 31:33). After the inner happening of salvation, some people take it public with the sign of water baptism. Likewise, a tattoo can be an outward sign of the inward work of Christ.
If you want to read more about ‘cutting for the dead’ there is a reference in the ‘false prophets of Baal’ story in 1 Kings 18:28. The false prophets cut themselves to get their gods attention. Our God says He is always listening and always with us; He cares about our body, and health, and asks us not to cut ourselves to get His attention, but instead to rend our hearts in repentance. (Other references are in Jer. 41:5, Deut. 14:1, Jer. 16:6, Jer. 47:5)
Prayer: Lord, help us see you as you truly are. You have so much culture; that’s why you found it good to make so many nations. Help us embrace every good thing. Help us see your truth, even when we aren’t used to it. Your ways are higher than our ways. Renew our minds to conform to the mind of God, and not the mind of man; not to tradition, but to ever being changed into your likeness. I ask in your name, and for your glory; Amen.