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Why Do I Have Both a Skull and Bible Verses on my Motorcycle?

August 26, 2010

I ride a black Yamaha YZF600R.  On the tank there is a large white scull.  On the sides of the tank there are two bible verse references written . . . 2 Thess 1:8-9 and Is 53:4-5.  To some this seems like a contradiction.  Many have asked what the meaning behind this is.  So, here is why I chose to do that. . .

There is a popular comic book character called “The Punisher”.  The Punisher is an ex-Marine, named Frank Castle, whose family was brutally murdered by the mob.  Because of this, he becomes a vigilante hero, whose mission is to seek out all those who do evil and punish them.  He is ruthless in his enactment of justice, extorting, kidnapping, torturing, and murdering criminals in his one-man war on crime.  He is identified by his trademark white scull contrasting against black.

I think that characters like The Punisher and “The Boondock Saints” point out part of our collective human psyche that demands justice.  More than justice, there is something in us that desires to see those who commit evil pay for what they have done.  We desire punishment to be dealt out to those who have hurt others.  There is part of the human psyche that can’t tolerate seeing evil go unpunished.  While our civilized sensibilities may not permit us to act on this impulse, part of us cheers when the Daredevil drops a rapist off a bridge, when Batman lets the thug clinging to his hand fall to his death, or when the “Inglorious Bastards” cave in Hitler’s face with a club.

There is a reason we long for evil to be punished.  We are created in the image of God.  We desire evil to be punished because He does.  We inherently know that the world is not as it should be.  We are surrounded by evil, and we long to see it righted.  Many cannot believe God exists because if He does, how could he allow all this evil to continue?  Others are angry at God because He doesn’t step in and stop it.  How can He let events like the Holocaust, 9/11, or the Columbine school shootings happen?  How can He allow child molesters, rapists, murders, and terrorists to continue to hurt people?  Why doesn’t He punish those who do evil?

The problem with this question is that most people fail to realize the truth that we ALL commit evil everyday.  Yes, we may not all be murderers, but we all chose everyday to go our way and not God’s.  We all deserve punishment…not just Hitler, Mussolini, and Ted Bundy.  The real question we should be asking is why is God being so merciful to us?

Don’t believe me?  You might be thinking, “yeah but I’ve a pretty good person.  I’m sure compared to Jeffery Dahmer, I’m a saint.  I’m sure God will let me into heaven.”  I have asked many people and almost every one of them has told me that they believe they are going to heaven.  I find it ironic that they are usually less clear on exactly who (if anyone) will go to hell.  The reason they know they are going to heaven is almost always the same; “Because I’m a good person.”  But this raises the massively critical question, “how good is good enough”?  Think about it for a second.  If being good is really the deciding factor on whether you make it into heaven or not, isn’t that an important question to get right?  After all, your eternal destiny hangs on it.  Exactly whose definition of “good” is being used here?  What is the standard?

When I hear someone respond this way my response is to ask them a few questions to help them see their life from God’s point of view.  Take a minute and answer these questions to yourself truthfully:

1. Have you ever told a lie?
2. Have you ever looked at someone with lust?
3. Have you ever stolen anything?
4. Have you ever been envious of something someone else has?
5. Have you ever used God’s name as profanity?
6. Have you ever hated anyone?
7. Have you always placed God as the highest priority in your life, all the time?

If you answered yes to number one, then that makes you a liar.  Jesus said if you lust after women in your heart it is the same as committing adultery with her (Matt 5:28).  If you’ve stolen anything (no matter how small) then that means you are a thief.  Each of those items above is one of the 10 commandments.

Do you think that God will find you guilty or innocent when you stand before Him and he decides whether to send you to heaven or hell?  If our human sense of justice demands punishment for all evil then what does that imply God will do?

Think about this for a minute.  What if someone were to place a device in your brain that could record all your private thoughts for a week, and then they played them on a big movie screen for all your friends and family to see?  Do you think some of your friends would be angry, hurt, and shocked by what they saw?  The bible says that God knows the secrets of our hearts (Psalms 44:11).

If you concluded that God will punish you along with all who have committed evil, you are correct.  He is just.  He doesn’t let evil go unpunished. He can’t.  If He did, He would be contradicting His very nature, denying Himself.  He WILL even all scores. The Bible says:

“For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.” ~ James 2:10

“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.” ~ 1 John 1:8

The Bible is clear that it is not just Adolf Hitler that is guilty, but everyone.  We have all sinned.

“The Lord looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God.  But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt.  No one does good, not a single one!” ~ Psalms 14:2-3

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” ~ Romans 3:23

Did you catch that?  “No one does good, not a single one”!  Many people think that they will get to heaven by doing more good deeds than bad deeds.  The Bible makes it clear that “God’s glorious standard” is well beyond reach for us.  God’s standard is perfection.  We would have to be perfect to earn it on our own.  That is the standard.  That is how good is good enough…perfection.

Do you realize that even if you only committed five sins a day, in one year that would be 1,825 sins?  If you live to be 70 you will have sinned 127,000 times!  That’s a ton of stored-up punishment.

So what can you do?  This is a bad place to be in.  You need help.  There is nothing you can do to erase those bad things you’ve done.  You can’t hide them.  God knows every thought you have and everything you’ve done.

As I said, God can’t just look the other way.  After all, don’t people already accuse Him of not punishing evil?  No, if He is going to find Hitler guilty, then He is going to have to find you guilty, and me!  We’re in a bad spot here.  We’re guilty as charged.

So, what is this punishment?  This is where one of the verses on my bike comes in.

“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.” 2 Thess 1:8-9

Just like the fictional character The Punisher, someday the Lord will make evildoers pay for the evil they have done in this life.  He is the ultimate Punisher. His punishment will be terrible and everlasting.  This punishment is described as “death” in the Bible.  There are two kinds of death, physical death and spiritual death.  Everyone will experience the first death, physical death.  But, the Bible says that our sin makes us deserve the second death, spiritual death.  This spiritual death is eternal separation from the love of God.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

But, unlike the comic book Punisher, Jesus offers us a way out, an escape from the punishment we justly deserve.  He extends us mercy.  But how can He do this?  After all He must insist the penalty is paid if He is to remain just.  How can he let us off the hook?

This is where the second verse on my bike comes into play.  Jesus is The Punisher that pays the punishment Himself!

“Surely he [Jesus] took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, punished by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” ~ Isaiah 53:4-5

God stepped out of heaven in the form of the man Jesus to take our punishment upon Himself.  He chose to suffer and die so that we could be free, so that we could be healed of our guilt.  He absorbed our punishment.  Someone I know once said Jesus placed his butt in between us and God and took our spanking.  And what a spanking it was!

This allows God’s wrath to be satisfied.  He remains just.  Jesus becomes the just, justifier of the unjust.  God has provided a way out, an escape, from our death penalty.  This way is through Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  The punishment for sin is always death.  Someone must pay for sin with their life.  It is our debt and we deserved to pay it.  But, God loved us and desires to restore His relationship with us.   So, He agreed to pay the price for us.  Jesus Christ agreed to die, for my sin and yours so that our relationship with God could be restored.

Frank Castle is driven to vengeance when his family was murdered.  God too watched His son be brutally butchered by mankind.  Yet this produced, not vengeance, but forgiveness, and the restoration of the very murderers to a relationship with Him.

We are separated from God.  We are all doomed to be punished in hell because God is just and must hold people accountable for what they have done.  Because of our sin problem we are in desperate need of a mediator, someone who can stand between the holy, perfect, sinless God and mankind.  The only person who could ever fill this role is Jesus Christ, the God-man.  He can put one hand on you on earth and the other on God the Father in heaven.  He is the only one who can pay this debt that we owe.  And He did. Because of his sinless life on earth, death in our place, His resurrection and victory over sin and death, only Jesus can forgive sin.  He is the only one equipped to actually solve the sin problem.

It is a free gift, and it is for anyone who will accept it.  God does not discriminate.   But, you must receive the gift.  You have to believe in and trust the one who is offering the gift enough to receive it.  The Bible says that there are two things you must do in order to receive this gift (in order to be saved): confess Him and believe in Him.

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved . . . For Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” ~ Romans 10:9, 10, 13

You must come to a place in your life where you recognize that you are a sinner, that you deserve this death sentence.  It is for your sins that Jesus had to die on the cross.  Repent of this sin and turn to Jesus.  The word “repent” means to make a “U-turn”, to stop going your way and turn your life over to Jesus.  He will show you how to go His way.

If you accept Jesus as Lord He will wash away all your sins.  You will be completely forgiven in God’s eyes.  You will begin the relationship that God planned for your life.  The promise of heaven will be yours as well.  There is no more punishment in store for you.  It has all been satisfied.

Then what is God waiting for?  Why does He keep allowing all this evil to continue happening?  The answer is that He is holding off His hand of judgment and restraining His punishment because He is merciful, because He wants to give us a chance to repent.

“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve punishment.” ~2 Peter 3:9-10

God is extending you a chance right now.  In His mercy and love He wants to have a relationship with you.  He wants to wash away your sins and extend His payment of punishment to you.  Will you choose to accept His free gift or will you choose to go your own way again, and pay your punishment yourself?

If you would like to discuss this with me or have any questions please contact me.  I would be happy to help.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2010 7:09 pm

    i love this website it is soo helpful with school and just getting to know god and the bible better…. thanx to whoever put this website together you did a wonderful job

  2. November 19, 2010 7:10 pm

    i love this

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