Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Billboard/Poster/Sign (any or all) (12/02/10)
TITLE: The Message on the Billboard
By Dee Washington
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The erections are strategically placed to attract the attention of the public with advertisements, announcements, and even warnings and legal notices. This was a good time to post notices, during a holiday period. This one was intended to reach the masses.
We slowed to take note of what was occurring around it. It had attracted a huge crowd of people. Because this billboard was located near a major city, there were not only commoners there, but there were city officials, high-ranking dignitaries, and well established politicians there.
Some in the crowd began to push and shove and the police tried to contain the small outbreaks. Some of the people were crying - in fact there was earsplitting wailing. There was also, loud, boisterous laughter from some of the people. The officials were slapping one another on the back as if they had just won a major campaign victory. Others were in groups consoling one another, looking up in awestruck disbelief as if they had just suffered a great loss. Still others were no more than curious.
The billboard was a tall and rugged structure composed of raw and rough hewn wood. Some of the wood was chipped away and splintered. Its assembly was a vertical section crossed by a horizontal section. It was stained.
One of the officials had posted a notice on the billboard. It was a sign which was written in various languages so that all the people coming in from surrounding areas would be able to understand what it said. Not only was the sign a written notice of criminal charges, it also identified, and at the same time affirmed the title of the one who had been the object of a public execution.
Some of the people who were overcome by grief began to leave the area and we could hear their conversation. We could hear the hopeful dialogue of others who began a vigil around the billboard; and we could hear others laughing and cajoling. We could hear the masses continue their conversations about what had just taken place. We knew the one they were talking about.
He was the one who had said, “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself (John 12:32 NIV).” He was the one who claimed, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die (John 11:25 NIV);” He had forewarned that, “This is my blood… which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28 NIV).” He had been crucified.
His hands and feet had been nailed to this structure on the side of the highway; strategically placed and lifted high for the masses to see. As he hung there, he'd announced his mission, “Father, forgive them… (Luke 23:34 NIV).”
We continued on by the billboard, but we had been beckoned to recall how precious blood was shed on a similar structure on behalf of the masses; for all those who have been given to Jesus the Crucified One. He has been and will continue to be lifted up for all the world to see and know that on a rugged placard, full forgiveness of all our sins was extended.
Although we were not witnesses to the event, we clearly understood the message on the billboard. “Jesus Saves!”
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