Saturday, May 4th, 2013
Carved Images (Part 1)
God: The Image Maker
Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:16-18 (NKJV)
A Star shall come out of Jacob.
Numbers 24:17 (NKJV)
You are the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14 (NKJV)
If God is 'The Creator' (Isaiah 43:10) and Jesus is 'The Carpenter' (Mark 6:3), then carving images is a job they do. If God is the Star Maker and Jesus is 'The Day Star' (2 Peter 1:19), then giving light is another job they do.
If God is 'The Potter' (Isaiah 64:8) and Jesus is His 'Righteous Servant' (Isaiah 53:11), then shaping people is their business. If God makes man in His Image and Jesus is 'The Image of the invisible God' (Colossians 1:15), then His sons are made to resemble Christ: 'For we are His workmanship' (Ephesians 2:10).
If God gives Jesus as 'An example' (John 13:15) for us to follow, if Jesus says 'Follow Me' 18 times in four Gospels, then I believe He means it.
What did Jesus The Man look like? Intentionally, He is not described in the New Testament. Only three Bible verses give us a hint of His Image during His Ministry:* 'He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire Him' (Isaiah 53:2). Jesus chose to be plain. Why?
Perhaps God did not want His followers to focus on the physical: 'For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart' (1 Samuel 16:7).
In every human way, Jesus' earthly life fulfilled His Word: 'He who humbles himself will be exalted' (Luke 14:11). No one was more humbled. No one was more exalted.
The Prophet Isaiah's other mention of the coming King's Image would be on His glory day: the day of His mockery, beating and crucifixion: 'His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and His form marred beyond human likeness' (Isaiah 52:14).
I can hardly bear this thought of Jesus, much less the reality of it. Therefore, I propose three questions in our 21st century worship of image: How do we view 'plain' people? How do we see disfigurement? How do we measure beauty?
To Be Continued...
* 'What did Jesus look Like?' article: http://www.differentspirit.org
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Carved Images series.