The Image of Christ

BY PGF
1 year, 3 months ago

Isaiah 53

We’ve already explored why you were made in the Image and Likeness of God in three parts;  OneTwo, and Three. Those regard what we suppose our final estate to be. But the question before us now is, what is the image of Christ in men while God has seen fit to leave us here in anticipation of Christ’s return?

“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” – Isaiah 53:2

I’ve seen many “AI” renderings lately, the makers of which have supposed to be of our Lord Jesus Christ. The definition and use of AI is another topic, but the image of Christ is critical for believers to understand. Seeing these images got us thinking, what is the image of Christ?

There was nothing special about His appearance as a man. He was not particularly attractive or fascinating to gaze upon, and He was not especially stunning in outward physique or face. And He, being a working man, unquestionably wasn’t pretty and effeminate as so many Middle Ages paintings would depict. He looked like an average guy.

Isaiah 53 is the prophecy of the trial and crucifixion of Christ. The degree and intensity of humiliation are vividly displayed, for in being debased, smitten, and stricken of God for our sin, the Father hath highly exalted Him and given him a name which is above every name (Philippians 2:9). Isaiah 53 is the Scripture the Ethiopian Eunuch was reading when the Lord’s messenger of the Gospel, Phillip, showed Him the way of salvation (Acts 8:26-40).

Verse 2 shows us that there would be no outward appearance of His person that indicates He is the Lord. But it’s more than that. Why did God ordain, in His wisdom, that Christ should have no external beauty?

Humans are visual creatures. It’s the most prevalent of our five senses. We have 3d depth perception in one of the broadest color spectrums of any creature on earth. Humans become enamored with beauty for a season. Some men appreciate specific facial structures and adornments given by God, while other men may respect different ones.

We’ve seen folks enamored with the appearance of somebody to the point of refusing to acknowledge that soul’s inward condition and ugliness. And conversely, if Christ had been attractive, could any have heard His great word and the offer of the Kingdom? The Father, through Christ, was and is seeking a people to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), not in outward impression.

Lovely, however, is the notion that He grew before God as a tender shoot, indeed, born of a virgin, God in a helpless child nurtured into manhood. So too that He grew from dry ground, an infertile hard pack where no life of the Spirit would grow; all Israel hadn’t heard from God in 400 years and was far astray from the Holy Creator of heaven and earth when John Baptist came preaching repentance toward God making way for the Holy One. Jesus arrived right on time, according to the prophet Daniel. But, praise God, not all were in darkness; some waited for the consolation of Israel and the Kingdom of God at His appearing. Simeon in the temple – Luke 2:25 and Joseph of Arimathea, who buried Christ’s body – Mark 15:43, are two examples.

“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” – Isaiah 53:10

Isaiah 53 reveals the lost condition of the human soul and God’s desire for reconciliation. Perhaps you’re not so sure about God’s desire. What more excellent an offer than that His own Son should die for you, standing in your stead as payment for your sin? It pleased the Almighty to bruise Christ and put Him to grief, making His soul an offering for sin. On the cross, Jesus Christ saw you, who would be a son of God. Jesus saw all His seed who would receive the new birth by the Spirit of God to be heirs with Christ in the Kingdom of God.

God made Christ’s soul an offering for the torture of hell that your eternal soul was supposed to suffer. Though every sinner deserves hell, God gave His soul to suffer in agony so that your immortal soul, helpless in its sin-stained condition, might see the Glory of God in eternity. Jesus poured out His soul, receiving an inheritance of the eldest Son, firstborn from the dead, resurrected to new life. He defeated hell and set the captives free.

Yes, God wants to reconcile with you so that you might know Him, even be friends with Him in service of His domain; it would please Him. Imagine that; God being well pleased with saving your soul by a simple faith in the power of Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead.

The challenging part for those who are His is to resemble Christ. You, dear Christian brethren, are supposed to look just like Him, who sacrificed everything so that men could be remade and joined again in fellowship and harmony with God almighty.

You were made in God’s image, but the likeness is broken by sin. Even for those born again, sin remains and is a constant battle. However, the resemblance to God has been recreated (a new man), and your mind and heart should be refreshed, having been given the image of God again in the Spirit who created you. “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” – Colossians 3:10. The new man, having been made a new creation indwelled by the Spirit, should look and act like Christ, God in flesh.

What did Jesus do, teach, and prepare His disciples to do? Those are the specific things the followers of Christ are supposed to do even today, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” – Romans 8:11.

Don’t limit or reject the quickening of the Spirit, but trust God in all things doing the will of Him that loves you. What does a leader in Christ do? He declares to the believers that we are to emulate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). What is the similitude of Christ if not His people following His commandments because they love Him (John 14:15). The mirror is pointed right back at me, for none are perfect and all fall short. Still, brethren, “…press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14).

Jesus is the express image of the Father (Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:3). A disciple in any endeavor of human activity is supposed to be the likeness of his teacher; so much more the Christian, we are to be the picture of Christ who is the Master of all. But so many Christians today will need to be taught how to serve. John 14:9 is instructive, “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

Has the word of God been so long time with you, yet you haven’t seen Christ and how you are to serve? Reading the Scripture, filled with awe and wonder at Him, what are you going to do about that? Hide it away in a napkin buried in the ground? What are you afraid of (Matthew 25:25). We’re all naked before God, why care what people think of you, serve Christ! “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” – Luke 6:46

There is no outward beauty that we should desire Him. The truths He taught and commanded in the Holy Bible are where the magnificence of Christ resides because in His word is where a man must always find the revealed will of the Father. Do the people you spend time with, do they see Christ? Do they know Him through you?

If you want to understand the relationship between God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit better, always do the will of the Father, for that is as Christ did. It’s one reason why the Father sent the Holy Spirit in Christ’s name; to teach you all things and remind you what Christ has said. Without studying the Scripture, there is nothing about which to remind you! And without doing what the Holy Bible says a disciple of Christ must do: if you read it and don’t do it, it’s not real to you. You remain a theoretical Christian untrained by the Spirit and untested through the fire, having never walked by faith in the service of our Lord to see the blessings of the Dispensation of Grace. You’re missing the Kingdom into which you were reborn and are meant to be an active citizen.

What is an ambassador for King Jesus but one who represents Him in all things and beseeches the lost sinner to be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20). A consumer of Christianity who won’t be a bondservant of Christ in the New Covenant is a wicked and rebellious son.

What is the glory of Christ Jesus; the fullness of grace and truth (John 1:14). Be the fullness of grace and truth to bring glory to God.

“Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” – 2 Corinthians 4:10


Comments

  1. On February 25, 2023 at 7:01 pm, luke2236 said:

    Actually, we have a decent idea of Jesus’ appearance from the letter to Caesar from Pilate and various profane and jewish writings; he was tall, thin and somewhat stoop shouldered with ”hair the colour of a ripened chestnut” to quote Pilate, cut in something like what we might call a sort of ‘mullet’ , with a blondish red beard. His eyes were apparently blue and his skin somewhat weathered as an adult. He is described as having a ‘radiance’ that even the heathen noticed.
    We do not know specifics or have a description that would allow an artist to create a portrait, but thats a start.

  2. On February 25, 2023 at 8:26 pm, PGF said:

    You actually’d me on a claim I never made and missed the whole point of the post.

  3. On February 26, 2023 at 7:47 am, luke2236 said:

    No, didnt miss the ‘point’ of the post, simply answered one part that spoke of the physical appearance of Jesus – paragraphs 3, 4 and 6 for example.
    Excuse me for trying to add a bit of info.

  4. On February 26, 2023 at 9:26 am, PGF said:

    Eh, maybe I missed the point.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Religion and was published February 25th, 2023 by PGF.

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