“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” (Hebrews 1:3)
We went on a family vacation to the Gulf Coast a couple of weeks ago. As we enjoyed time by a pool and at the beach, I noticed that several men and women around us had tattoos. They had tattoos on their arms, legs, back and chest. One man even had a tattoo on his finger. It seemed like everywhere we went on our trip, I saw someone bearing a tattoo.
Of course, you don’t have to go to the coast to see tattoos. They are prevalent in our community as well. Many of you reading this also have a tattoo. They are fairly popular in our culture today. I don’t have anything against a tattoo. I personally have not chosen to get one, but several of my friends have. Some of them have tattoos that bear sentimental value to them. Others have tattoos that remind them of people and events in their life. One of my friends has a cross on her back which she uses as a gateway to talk to others about Jesus. Others have tattoos that have no sentimental value or meaning at all other than the person wearing the tattoo likes the design of the tattoo.
As I thought about the tattoos that people wear, I’m reminded that Jesus bore the image of God. Hebrews 1 says Jesus has the “exact imprint of His nature”. This means when you see Jesus you see God. You see His love, grace, compassion, kindness and holiness. When you read about Jesus, you read about God. When you see the heart of Jesus and what concerns Him, you see the heart of God and what concerns Him as well.
The Bible also tells us that if we are followers of Jesus and have been baptized into Him that He lives in us. (Galatians 2:20) What does this mean? It means that since Jesus bears the image of God and He lives within us, we also bear the image of God. When people see our actions, hear our words or perceive our thoughts, they should see God. As we live in our communities, work in our workplaces and attend our schools, people should see God living in us and be impacted by it. (You never meet God and walk away unaffected.) God’s imprint is on us because Christ is in us.
So, wear a tattoo if you are so inclined. Bear an image on your body if want to. But remember, as followers of Christ, we all bear God’s image. It’s the most important image that people will ever see imprinted or “tattooed” on us.