Some, if not many, in average society may relate the image of a skull to death or something evil. Some years ago, that may have been my typical thoughts as well.
So my son the other day shared that he didn’t understand the preference to skulls by some people, or groups. He thought them to be “kind of scary” from his perspective. This ended up being a great opportunity for a teaching and learning moment. So I began to share the history of skull images, what it means by different cultures, countries, groups, as well as the biker community.
Such as, by some, it was to actually ward off evil and/or evil spirits as the gargoyles or lion images we see on some buildings or gables. To some it means that we as human beings are all the same underneath our outward appearance, what we wear, ethnic background, etc… and that we will all return to death. In another culture it is to honor those that passed and their ancestors like you may typically see in what are called Sugar Skulls or skeletons. In another culture it is to demonstrate a statement of being different, unique and not of a mundane society expectations, and yes to instill fear to ward off others. While in others it may be an expression of their art, culture, and they are dedicated to their passions unto death such as riding motorcycles and/or for the brotherhood they built. Then again with others it may be a representation of their strong patriotism to defend their country, their loved ones to the death. While some the skull may be a representation of their deep faith, and commitment unto death as they have died to the ways of the flesh, and are new creatures, that the life they live now is of Christ.
I reminded my son of the skull ring I wear that has Galatians 2:20 engraved on it in which I purchased to support the organization “Hope Over Heroin” that the life I lived before my surrender to my faith is the old self, that I strive to die to that, and the life I live now is to chase the “Beautiful Outlaw” in Jesus Christ. To live, love, serve and lead more like Him. The Biker Skull Shirts, or “Lazarus Skull” my son sees me wear in support of a Christian MC is a representation similar, but they call that skull, Lazarus. After Lazarus of the bible that was raised by the dead by Jesus Christ.
My son soon connected the dots of all I was sharing with him, and said “yes, that is when Jesus wept. The shortest verse in the bible with one of the most profound meanings.” I smiled in pride not realizing how my son, as well as his sister, are rather observant, listen, and take in much. So the next time you see people wearing attire, jewelry, or adorning tattoos with skulls, it may not mean what you may think or assume. Maybe next time, just ask them what the skull means to them. You may find it not only surprising, but rather intriguing, informative, and profound.