Did You Get the Picture?

As Christians, it’s easy to lose sight on our focus when we get in the way of what God wants us to see. 

This reminds me of a story about a revivalist traveling with his wife and daughter.    The revivalist noticed his daughter jumping on the bed and curiously looking at the mirror.  Her response was based on her views about a picture of Christ hung on the wall above the bed and behind her.     After awhile, the daughter asks “Dad, why is it that every time I move closer to the mirror, I don’t see Jesus, but I see more of me and every time I move away from the mirror I see more of Jesus but see less of me?   The daughter asked a profound and wonderful question.  The answer, in part, is based on understanding the Biblical concept of “image” as it relates to God, Christ, and Christians.   Sometimes we don’t fully appreciate the implications of the fact that humanity is created in God’s image.  Genesis 1:27 reminds us “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (NKJV emphasis added).  In this context, the Hebrew word for “image” is selem and means “likeness or replication.”  In other words, we are not robots but rather replications of God’s image because He gave us intellect, emotion, and free will that offer insight into His personality and glory.    In addition, we often don’t fully appreciate the implications of the fact that God and Christ are one.  Hebrews 1:1-3 says, in part, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power” (Emphasis added).  In this case, the Greek verb for “image” is eikon and relates to “pattern, example, or type.”  Therefore Christ–the second member of the Trinity–follows the pattern or example of God because of His holiness, sovereignty, power, and authority.  Christ is God’s “express image” based on an exact representation because Christ is God.     In a very real way, Christ is the “expressed image” or pattern from which Christians should model our lives.  Paul confirms this in I Corinthians 11:1 when declaring “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (ESV).  The idea behind “imitators” is derived from two Greek verbs:  mimetes (mimic) and ginomai (to become).  The implication involves Christians continually striving toward being Christ-like.  This also relates to our daily sanctification as Christ continually cleanses us from unrighteousness.  While we are not perfect like Christ, we desire spiritual perfection based on Him–the perfect pattern of righteousness.   So much like the evangelist’s daughter, we should redirect our focus from ourselves and focus on Christ.  Otherwise, we’ll rely on our limited perspectives that can lead to selfishness rather than following Christ, the “express image” of God.   Did you get the picture?

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