Tattoos and Scars

by Jake Hershey on March 31, 2013

The day that I’m writing this is Easter Sunday.  Since that’s the day that we who believe in Jesus celebrate Him being raised from the dead, I thought I’d get dressed up for church.  Dressed up for me meant a new pair of jeans and a white pearl snap shirt.  We have a buddy and his wife staying with us while they try to get back on their feet and while we were feeding horses and unhooking the horse trailer from a going to a ranch rodeo yesterday before heading to church today he told me, “You know you can see your tattoos thru that pretty white shirt.”  I told him that I was well aware of that fact, as my wife felt inclined to remind me of it every time I wore said shirt (she was working today and didn’t get to see my fancy outfit).  For a split second, I thought about changing shirts so as not to offend anyone at church.  But that thought was quickly replaced by another.

I have tattoos and scars all over my body and each one of them tells a story and reminds me of a certain time and place when I look at them.  I chose to get the tattoos of course and all but the last one I got were when I was still lost and didn’t know Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  The last one I got after I had been in the ministry for over 3 years and it reminds me of who Jesus was and is as well as what He created me to be and why.

I didn’t choose to get any of the scars.  They’ve come from all sorts of different injuries throughout my life….rodeo, fist fights, totaling vehicles, horses, cattle and surgeries, just to name a few.  But every time I look at a scar it reminds me of that certain time and place in my life that it came from.

Some “holier than thou” type Christians might get offended by the marks and scars on my body and the things I say about them.  But there is another guy who has some marks and scars on his body and who offended a lot folks by the things he said.  His name is Jesus Christ.  His body was beaten beyond recognition, tortured, spit on and nailed to a cross…all for the things He said.  He allowed all that to happen to himself for you and me, so that we could be forgiven of our sins and spend forever in heaven with Him.  Three days after Jesus died on the cross that He was nailed to, He came back to life.  Just like our souls if we believe in Him, His soul never died…but His body did…and after it came back to life He had the scars to prove it.

The marks on my body, both intentional and unintentional, tell the story of my life…of good decisions and bad ones.  But no matter what I look like, my soul is saved from burning in hell forever because of what Jesus did for me and anyone else who chooses to believe in Him.  His body has the marks to prove it.  The marks on your body have nothing to do with your soul being saved.  The bible says that if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord that you’ll be saved.  Period.  I’d rather have someone with tattoos and scars see mine and realize that they can also ride with Jesus, than hide the marks on my body and possibly not reach someone who needs it.  If a lost soul doesn’t know about the marks on Jesus’ body, they are worth nothing to them. While staying humble and knowing that it’s all because of God and the marks on Jesus’ body, be proud of who you are, how far you’ve come and where you’re headed with God’s help.

Easter ain’t about a bunny or chocolate eggs.  It’s about the scars and marks on Jesus’ body that came from the punishment and death He went through for you.  They tell the story of his life, death and resurrection.  Thank God for that.

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it in my side.  Stop doubting and believe.”

 John 20:27


Jake Hershey 3/31/13

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  • Kat


    I have 5 tattoos. I generally try to keep covered in church. Now i will not worry so much about them

  • Kat

    Thank you!

  • Byron

    When you were considering trying to cover up your tattoos before heading to church, it was a perfect picture of how so many lost folks think that they need to try and “cover up” their sin before coming to Christ. They just need to know that Jesus already knows all the things that they have done or thought or said and He loves them anyway. The only way to get their sin “covered up” is to be washed in the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross by asking His forgiveness and professing their faith in Christ. Then those old sins will be washed white as snow . . . or as white as that pretty shirt you were sporting at church on Easter!

    I’m a city boy who likes to live vicariously through your tales of cowboying. I really enjoy reading your entries and if we never cross paths down here I look forward to shaking your hand when we are both in Glory someday.

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