A Texas billboard of Jesus is causing quite a stir. That's because it depicts Jesus in a way that many people are not used to, tattooed. An anonymous group has designed 59 billboards throughout Lubbock, Texas, that shows Jesus tattooed with various negative phrases.
While it might seem like they are against Jesus and Christianity, the group says the reason behind the billboards is not negativity towards religion.
The reason for the negative words is to prove a point that Jesus can transform the negative things in persons life into positive ones. The billboard is part of a campaign to spread love and the story of Jesus. The billboards direct readers to a website where they can watch videos and read more about the story of Jesus. During the video, viewers can see the negative phrases tattooed on the body of Jesus disappear and get replaced with positive words. The campaign hopes to show people from all walks of life that Jesus loves and can help everyone, regardless of their sins or the baggage they carry.
"We're finding that those who visit the website and watch the video come to understand the message of the campaign. Certainly, like with all deeply personal relationships, not everyone approves of the image of Jesus with tattoos, but we welcome the controversy because we understand that a dialogue on the issue is the best way to spread the message," said Ashleigh Sawyer, media relations coordinator for Jesus Tattoo.
While the Jesus Tattoo Billboard may have been created with the best of intentions, not everyone likes it.
"I don't like the picture. I think it's very derogatory," said one resident.
Many other Texas residents were also offended by the depiction of Jesus. Others embraced it, saying it was a clever way to get attention and reach out to people who may not be typical Christians or churchgoers .
"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," David Wilson, a senior pastor at Southcrest Baptist Church in Lubbock said.
The group behind the campaign hopes to add more billboards across the country and even internationally.
Image from Jesustattoo.org.