Top GIFs of 2022

Pastor Daron CrossLife Blog

GIFs are wildly popular among us. Admit it, you searched for a GIF when texting “happy birthday” to your friend, or when sending an “I’m sorry” to your sister. 

These snapshots of our culture feature emotional moments from entertainment or sports, iconic movements of celebrities, and tributes to beloved experiences. And we love using them to help express ourselves more meaningfully to others. 

This morning I saw a “most popular GIFs of 2022” post.  The list includes movie scenes, Spanish cuisine, “happy tears,” a bouquet of flowers, and SpongeBob Squarepants—again. 

So it got me thinking, if there was a GIF for Jesus, what would it be? Well, I checked. 

I searched for a  “Jesus” GIF on my phone, and only one of the twelve options that first appeared on my phone screen came close to representing the real, biblical Jesus. Others were either just silly memes or sad mockeries. 

If you created a GIF for Jesus as a snapshot to express him more meaningfully to others, what moment or message of Jesus would you capture in a 1.2 second GIF?

Some might say his birth. Without being born on this earth, Jesus is not our Savior. Well, with that logic, others would suggest his crucifixion or his resurrection. 

The apostle Paul wrote, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve” (1 Corinthians 15:3-5). 

Well, that doesn’t really narrow it down, does it? We have Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, the truth of the Scriptures, and his appearances to his disciples. Can’t fit that all in one GIF. 

So my conclusion on this is: that’s the point. Celebrities, cultural experiences and the most beautiful moments or movie clips may be represented in a GIF, but not Jesus. 

A snapshot just won’t do. So don’t oversimplify Jesus. Don’t boil his message down to one word or one verse. Even the symbol of the cross is layered with rich theology. I might have a simple faith, but that doesn’t make Jesus simple. 

Jesus is so much more than a GIF can say. It might be a good start—good enough for the Holy Spirit to draw someone to faith in Jesus because of it. But soon the believer discovers that Jesus is more. And that’s what we need in a Savior.

PRAYER: Jesus, sometimes I want to make you too simple, easy to comprehend, and comfortable to follow. I know that your gift of salvation is easily accessible by faith. I also know that you are much more than a single moment or experience. I can’t wait to discover you more! Amen.

EVANGELISM ACTION: Send a Jesus GIF to a friend who needs Jesus and ask them what they think of it. Then share this blog.