OKLAHOMA CITY (Christian Examiner) – The founder of Hobby Lobby has never kept his Christian faith a secret, and this weekend newspapers all across the nation will feature full-page Hobby Lobby ads celebrating the true meaning of Easter – complete with information on how people can learn more about how "to know Jesus as Lord and Savior."
It is the 20th straight year Hobby Lobby has run full-page ads declaring the Gospel message for Easter. The company also places similar ads in newspapers for Christmas and Independence Day.
This year's ad shows a crown, nails and an old-style hammer, with the words: "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:25)."
The ad – like all other Hobby Lobby holiday ads – contains very little information about the company, other than its address and website in small print at the bottom. It also includes this message: "If you would like to know Jesus as Lord and Savior, visit Need Him Ministry at www.ChatAboutJesus.com. To download a free Bible for your phone, got to www.mardel.com/bible."
As the Hobby Lobby website tells the story, founder David Green got the idea for the ads during Christmas 1995, when he "was reading the Christmas advertisements, including those for his own store, and he felt commissioned by God to do something different."
"Hobby Lobby was selling all kinds of crafts that customers used to celebrate Christmas, yet David Green was struck by the lack of any testimony in newspapers regarding the meaning of the holiday," the company website says.
In 1996 Green commissioned a Gospel-centric Christmas ad that read: "As you celebrate this Christmas season in the warmth of family and home, may you be drawn to the Savior; He who left the beauty of Heaven on our behalf and became like us, that we might become like Him. If you know Jesus as your Savior, then this season already has a special meaning. If you do not, we encourage you find a Bible-believing church in your community, and to discover a relationship this Christmas with the God who loves you more than you can begin to imagine."
The next year, it ran its first Easter ad with this Gospel message: "For God so loved the world He gave acceptance, peace, mercy, confidence, purpose, forgiveness, simplicity, hope and relief."