I was on the road home one day this week from a convention a few hours away. I usually pay very little attention to the road, and virtually ignore anything off to the side of the road. So it could have been no more than a strange coincidence that I happened to glance up and to the side in time to see a billboard go flying by that said: "I died for you. -Jesus".
My first thought was positive; nice of Him to remind us every once in a while. But it made me think about some billboards that were popular a few years ago. There was one that said, "You think it's hot down there? -God", and one that said something like, "That 'love thy neighbor' thing...I meant that. -God", and "Let's meet at My house Sunday before the game. -God", and "What part of 'thou shalt not' didn't you understand? -God".
All cheeky and memorable; I recall chuckling every time I saw one. Dad loved them.
But then I saw this one, and as I drove on I thought about it a bit, and I think that maybe they're not quite as funny as I thought they were.
First, what kind of God uses billboards to commuicate with His children? The only time that I recall Him ever using anything remotely similar was when he wrote, with his finger, on the wall in the Babylonian king's court. Biblically, He's always used more impactful methods of communicating. Like talking donkeys and burning bushes; and dreams and visions, and visitations by angels.
Imagine Him placing a massive billboard right outside the door of that big pyramid, that said: "Let My people go! -God". Or, Saul, on the road to Damascus, stopping to grab a drink of water, and seeing a sign that said: "Saul; why are you persecuting Me? (and by the way, your new name's Paul). -God". They just don't have the same impact, do they? In fact, for all the humor you might find in them, they're devoid of any real meaning. They're no more than a talking point.
But then, perhaps that's just they're not really "God" talking; it's we humans putting words into God's mouth. That's what it must be, because it just doesn't seem quite right that God would say something like, "You think it's hot down there?". Or to constantly remind us of the fact that he died for us? It just doesn't seem to be the way he works.
He's not that way. He's a loving father, one who'd gladly give His life to save ours, but not one to continously remind us of that fact, as if it's something to lord over us humans. What He did, He did out of love. And that billboard just seems to cheapen that a bit.
No; He's always been the kind to pull His children close when they feel aimless or like a failure, and to speak softly to them in love; NOT to throw up signs alluding to the depths of His love (and silently riduculing all those who have NOT placed their life in hands).
I only hope those signs aren't all you're depending on for consistent communication with God.