Jesus and the Crucifixion

Jesus, the Savior and Redeemer in Christian belief, is a well-known religious figure. Specifically, the imagery of Jesus being nailed and hanging on the cross is commonly represented in the media, even today. Jesus’ crucifixion is a well-known topic, discussed by many people around the world. The examples being presented are spin offs of this well-known image and the message trying to be promoted from this general imagery varies.


Trope 1: 2013 Promotional ad from Little Pencil Ministries; (medium = Billboard Poster) The trope is Jesus on the cross and this advertisement uses the imagery by presenting a man wearing a crown of thorns, with his arms outstretched, and a nail wound in his hand. This advertisement hopes to promote the grace presented to humanity by Jesus dying on the cross and taking the sins of humanity. This is highlighted by the words on this body that read, “faithless, jealous, addicted, hated, and outcast”. The advertisement also hopes to promote the commonality of Jesus and things many people love today, such as tattoos. The advertisement includes text “” to lead individuals to a video with an actor portraying Jesus who owns a tattoo parlor in his basement. The video explains the background and the full message trying to be conveyed through the image highlighted on the billboard. This advertisement offended a lot of strict, religion-focused Christians who are against the idea of tattoos and portraying Jesus in a way not depicted in the Bible.


Trope 2: 2018 Protest Poster by advertising company Ogilvy for International Society for Human Rights (medium = Print Advertisement). The poster presents a man tied down to a stretcher with his arms outstretched and feet crossed. The bottom of the poster reads, “End the era of the death penalty.” In this example the trope, being Jesus on the cross, is used to protest the immorality of the death penalty. They use the tragedy of Jesus being crucified on the cross to argue the tragedy of the death penalty still being used today. Concerning the use of unethical execution tactics, they also want to argue how not much has changed since the times of Jesus’ crucifixion (which is said to have occurred around 1,983 years ago).


Trope 3: 2018 Promotional ad by filmmaker Richard Todd and director Richard Bullock to promote the ‘Dying to Live’ documentary. (medium = Video). The advertisement presents Jesus being asked by two roman soldiers if he would like to become an organ donor. He agrees by stating “Obviously I would do it, I’m Jesus”. This example uses the trope, Jesus on the cross, to represent sacrifice. The goal of this ad is to promote organ donation and becoming a registered organ donor, because according to the advertisement, “70% of Australians are willing to donate their organs and tissue, but only 36% are actually registered donors.” The promotional video ends with this statement “Do what Jesus would do” to question and test the integrity of Christians and individuals who look to Jesus as an influential figure.

Link to the video – ttp://


“Jesus Tattoo.” RD Thomas Advertising,

Dawson, Abigail. “’What Would Jesus Do?’ Asks Provocative Organ Donation Ad.” Mumbrella, 15 Oct. 2018,

“International Society for Human Rights: Jesus.” RSS, 1 Apr. 2018,