Death Of Yolo by Jefferson Bethke

Death Of Yolo by Jefferson Bethke November 18, 2012

A tip to the oldsters: YOLO is an acronym for “You Only Live Once.”

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1) What was the inspiration for this poem?

The inspiration behind this poem was just digging a little deeper into Romans 6. I realized even though we affirm the resurrection we really don’t live as if it’s true. Thinking about the fact that Jesus was really dead between the cross and the resurrection let it sink in a little more. Trying to put ourselves in the shoes of the disciples makes us realize just how and why the resurrection completely changed everything about them.

2) It seems like this poem doesn’t address culture as much as your other poems?(Facebook, pornography, Video Games, etc.) Was that intentional?

Yes and no. Most of my poems I write specifically addressing a skeptic or non believer point of view, but this poem was different because it was written and performed for my church’s Easter service. So it was a lot more “churchy” than some of my others but hope it still encourages nonetheless.

3) In the poem you compare the cross Jesus died on to an electric chair. Could you explain a little more about what you were trying to achieve with that comparison?

Totally. Because the cross is the most recognized symbol in the world it has lost a lot of its original meaning. The cross during the time of Jesus was an instrument of torture and death. It represented execution. It was a symbol of what would happen if you disobeyed the roman government. So when Jesus died on this cross he was associating himself with the criminals. With the lowest of low. We see the cross today as being something totally triumphant rather than something that looked like a total failure. To everyone around him it looked like Jesus completely just failed and wasn’t coming through on his promises. The beauty of getting back to the rawness and grittiness of the cross though is that we can see just how far God was willing to go to rescue us. He was willing to die a criminal’s death for us. He associated himself with us in a death that only we deserved. So my comparison to an electric chair was an attempt to frame it in a way that would be similar in today’s culture, which would be an electric chair or some other form of the death penalty.

4) Why do you think this poem’s message is important?

Paul said it himself to the Corinthians. If the resurrection isn’t true, we are all idiots just playing a stupid religious game. But if the resurrection is true, it changes everything.

5) What can we expect from your videos in the next few months?

My next video coming out is called ‘counterfeit gods’ and I’m really excited about that one! Also I’m hoping to broaden the spectrum of videos a little more. Hoping to still do poems but also teaching videos, short creative videos, and videos with Alyssa & me.

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