This arresting picture of Jesus as a revolutionary, imitating the style of the famous poster of 1960s fighter Che Guevara, was produced as an advertising poster encouraging people to go to church during Easter 1999.
This poster image was produced by the Churches Advertising Network – an independent group of UK Christian communicators. One of the group, Peter Owen Jones, described seeing the first design for the poster, which then had a different slogan…
“We have a picture of Christ cast in the same pose as Che Guevara; underneath, the line reads, “Public enemy number one: discover the real Jesus of Easter.” It’s good, it’s very good indeed. The media will go mad… But as a piece of communication which is trying to say this man was a revolutionary – a spiritual revolutionary – it is simple and memorable” (Small Boat, Big Sea, Peter Owen Jones).
Another member of the group which produced this version of Jesus said: “Jesus was not crucified for being meek and mild. He challenged authority. He was given a crown of thorns in a cruel parody of his claims about proclaiming the Kingdom of God. Our poster has the most arresting picture our advertisers could find to convey all this – the image deliberately imitates the style of the well-known poster of Che Guevara.”
What do you think? Do you see Jesus as a quiet, gentle man, or as a tough revolutionary?
Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve:
to give, and not to count the cost,
to fight, and not to heed the wounds,
to toil, and not to seek for rest,
to labour, and not to ask for any reward,
except that of knowing that we do your will.
Ignatius of Loyola, soldier and founder of the Jesuits (1491-1556)
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Christians have been making images of Jesus since the early centuries of the church. In this section, we look at pictures of the face of Christ – some of them centuries old, some of them from today.
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