By John Hutchinson
Placards can be very cost efficient communication – especially when viewed by the world.
Just after the Boston bombings in America a small boy held up a sign which was picked up on camera. If everyone practiced it our planet would be more peaceful and pleasant.
His poster said: 'No more hurting each other.'
We're masters of hurt. Human history is a sad tale of malevolence and pain.
The maiming and killing of little children from bombing or invading of their homes and towns should shock even the hardest of us. The suffering of the innocent is an indictment on our species.
The most despicable form of hurt, however, is the deliberate and excruciating pain of torture.
But, worse than torture itself, has been pain as entertainment. The great amphitheater in Amman was carved into rock face for those wanting to witness people torn to pieces by wild animals. It was acoustically designed to echo their screams. Special seating was there for the emperor and his entourage.
Hurt, however, can be inflicted in other ways. Cyber hate has now become a devious means of inflicting mental and emotional pain.
Let's pick up on the little fellow's poster and do what we can to eliminate the scourge of hurt from the earth.
Another placard to think about at this time of year is the multilingual notice which Pontius Pilate fixed to the cross of Jesus.
Matthew's gospel says it was placed above His head which indicates the hands and arms were stretched out and nailed to a horizontal piece of wood. This method of crucifixion intensified the pain in what was one of the most terrible and torturous methods of execution ever devised.
Pilate's placard stated no crime. It said simply, 'Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews.'
In the trial Pilate said, 'I find no fault with this man.'
The Bible says, 'But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities.'
Everything Jesus suffered was for others. He was not a victim of circumstance but out of the extremities of His love, was prepared to die in our place, for our forgiveness and salvation.
Prior to the event Jesus said, 'No one takes my life from me, I lay it down of my own free will - I have power to lay it down and to take it up again.'
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus can have life changing power. I remember having tea with a terrorist. Tommy Tarrants, driven by hatred, machine gunned down police and planted bombs.
In solitary confinement he asked if he could read a copy of the New Testament of the Bible. He read about love – something he'd never known.
Tommy became a new man – a man once driven by hate and hurt is now living a life of faith and love in Christ. Look him up on the internet.
The elimination of malevolent hurt of others requires a radical change in human nature. That's what Jesus came to do.•