Lev 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
The first thing under consideration is cuttings in the flesh. This is a style of pagan worship.
1Ki 18:27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.
28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.
We see here that pagan worship involves the cutting of oneself. They were worshiping the dead. They were worshiping dead gods and trying to get a response from them. I doubt any would be cutting themselves and saying it is okay with God. Now to address the after comma remark that so many people want to relegate to nothingness.
I often hear the refrain, “God looks on the heart and He knows what is in my heart.” Do we really think that God accepts what is in our heart that causes us to mar our body with something that God has already forbid for others. We then associate ourselves with the world because of our desire.
2Co_6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
We are to be a different people from the world. We are not to act like the world or look like the world. Israel was to be a separate nation from all the others. Their God was not written on their skin but in there hearts.
Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Notice the desire of God for His people Israel. God expected the law to be written in their inward parts. Notice the desire that it be written in their hearts. What is written in the heart will be expressed outward so the world witnesses our love for the Lord. This is what He also expects from His Church.
2Co 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
So many want to ignore the principles that are given in the Old Testament and yet, we have a broadness in the New Testament that when honestly considered, covers the element of the skin being purposefully marred. We are not of the world do not practice pagan worship such as offering our babies or virgins as sacrifice yet we be engaged in the pagan practice of marring our flesh purposefully and say it honors God.
God writes on our heart by the Spirit of God. This is the mark of God that cannot fade or be removed. We therefore are an epistle of God, not marked on our skin, but the abundance of our heart is expressed through our life that holiness that honors God.
May that mark be the epistle written on our heart and expressed through our separation from the world.