This one represents a brief departure from 2 Corinthians. It's a single verse from Leviticus: chapter 19, verse 28:
You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead, nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord.I looked this up because of something I saw a few days ago at the YMCA (my early-morning workout is a strong enough habit that it still seems to happen when I'm on vacation, as long as I'm local). I noticed while I was getting my shower that one of my fellow shower-ers, a young guy, had a large tattoo on his back that depicted Jesus on the cross. It was pretty artistic, as tattoos go, and presented a technically-impressive perspective view from in front of, and somewhat above, the cross, which spared the tattoo artist from having to try to depict Jesus' face; instead, we had a view of the top of his bowed head. The idea of this tattoo seemed ironic to me, since I thought I recalled that there was some Old Testament scripture enjoining against the practice of tattooing. It is, of course, a bit of the Law from the old covenant; and Jesus said (Matthew 5:17, 18)
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished.Jesus came to fulfill, and I rest in the confidence that He has done what He came to do; and so I take it that all is indeed accomplished. Purely as a matter of personal taste and preference, though, I find that tattooing is quite disagreeable. Your mileage, of course, may vary. Still, it seemed an odd way for a Christian to express his devotion to Jesus. If we really have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us in power, we shouldn't need a picture embedded in our flesh, or a cross on a chain around our neck, or a bumper sticker, to give evidence to the world; the evidence should be in our deeds, and in our love. Or so it seems to me.
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