Tattooed Jesus Illustration – Clever or Offensive?

photo used in controversial billboard ad for jesustattoo.org

This controversial-by-design image is generating quite a bit of news stir this morning. (see ABC News story) Apparently a new organization called jesustattoo.org used this picture (copyright jesustattoo.org) on a new billboard along a West Lubbock, Texas highway and many do not like it or understand it.

Of course I did what the maker of this ad hoped I would do: upon seeing it and reading about it, I visited their website to see what they were all about. I mean, after all, that is a representation of God’s Son, my savior, in that contentious photo.

What I found at jesustattoo.org was a video which I encourage you to watch: http://youtu.be/rZvR3o99yL0.

Questions: What do you think of this ad? Is it an over-the-top, offensive use of imagery meant to cause controversy and draw attention? or a clever, modern illustration of the story of the Gospel? or is it both? Leave me a comment to tell me what you think. 

2 thoughts on “Tattooed Jesus Illustration – Clever or Offensive?”

  1. I’m generally turned off by anything that has an actor playing Jesus – but after watching it I don’t have anything too negative to say. Although nothing can capture the essence of the gospel except the gospel, I think the idea of using tattoos as an illustration worked here. And used in the right context it could be moving enough to spark intrest in someone who is new to Christianity. Unless I’m missing something, I don’t see why it would be considered offensive or incredibly controversial. I understand people not understanding the billboard though. I was a tad confused until I watched the video.

    1. I agree with you. I think it is arguably a compelling illustration of the Gospel especially in an age where tattoos are so prevalent. Only those who believe tattoos are taboo will find the ad offensive, although some may struggle with a sketch that places Jesus in modern times. I do think their billboard ad raises questions, but only to draw attention to it and encourage the curious to go to their website.

      Thanks for leaving a comment! By the way, I enjoyed your post, “Letting Go of Control“.

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