The Perfect Image
Col. 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;
There is so much about Christ that is difficult for us to understand or to explain. Jesus “is the image of the invisible God.” As incarnate man he reveals to us the very nature of God and is an exact and perfect image of God. It is in the Scriptures that we read and discover all that we need to know about the Father, for the Father is revealed in the Son. In the Son we see the visible and the invisible nature of God. He is able to perform the works of the Father. It is through his power and activity that the Father is revealed. It’s not the physical image of the Father that we see, but it is the very perfect image of the nature of the Father which is revealed in Christ. The Father is seen in Christ because he performs the Fathers works. Jesus is not defined by what he became in the flesh alone, but by his nature; by who he is.
Jesus is the “eikon” of God. This is not just a symbol but it’s a term that means more than a symbol -- one that brings with it the actual presence of the object. Therefore he becomes the visible expression, or manifestation of God. Paul’s understanding is that Jesus bears “the image of the earthly, Adam, and the image of the heavenly, God. He was the unique manifestation of both God and man, always embodying the best of both wherever he was. In choosing the word ‘image,’ Paul stressed that God was present wherever Jesus was. He was the personal manifestation of deity.” (Melick, R. R. 1991) Jesus, the perfect image of the invisible God.
This blog is titled, “Reflecting the Image.” If we are going to reflect the Image, then maybe we need to understand a little more about the Image. In the early centuries of Christianity people tried to explain what it meant for Christ to be fully God and fully human. I believe that Paul was trying to explain this in this passage. In the opening chapters of Genesis we read about God creating humankind in his image. It is in Jesus that we see God and humanity coming together, providing a hopeful future for God’s children. Jesus came in the flesh, died and was resurrected so that we might draw closer to him — and reflect his image.
It is this perfect image that we are to reflect in the world. This includes the nature of the invisible God! The closer a mirror is to the original, the larger the original will be in that mirror. The closer we draw to Christ the more that we will reflect him and the Father’s nature and power. I’m afraid we see too little of God’s nature at work in the world these days and it’s not that God isn’t able, but it may be that we are too distant from him to be participating with him in these ways.
To get to know God, we need to be soaking in the scriptures and spending time in prayer. We need to be seeking his face and he will draw us closer to him. In this way the image of the invisible God will be reflected into our needy world. We become the instruments that God uses to fulfill his purposes. Get to know and reflect the Image.
Lord, please help me to know you more. Amen.
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