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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Imago Dei

... "God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and
female he created them" (Genesis 1:27). Imago Dei is the Latin expression of the biblical hope that we are made in the "image of God." To a world cruelly obsessed with appearance, such an idea seems foreign at best, perhaps even unhelpful...

...If we will plumb the depths of what it means to be made in the image of God, we discover the implications are far-reaching. It is reminiscent of Aslan's response in Prince Caspian: "'You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,' said Aslan. 'And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor in earth.'" We are bearers of the image of God, made with the intention and care of the Father. To live as children made in his image is not a static hope, but an active calling to reflect our maker. Even so, it is a calling we fail to answer, a reflection that has become blurred. The image of God in humanity is an image tarnished by sin. We have been made in his image, but it is an image that needs his restoring touch.

When Jesus healed the ten leprous men who approached him outside of Jerusalem, he restored wholeness and health to a group of ailing men. He removed the affects of a fallen world and made clearer the image of God in each man. Yet, only one was transformed by the touch of the savior; the man threw himself at Jesus's feet and praised God. Though ten were healed
of leprosy, Jesus only noted the restoration of one: "Rise and go; your faith has made you well" (Luke 17:19).

God's transforming work among us moves beyond what ails us to the heart of our illnesses. While diseases can be healed, scars removed, and flaws corrected, these things do not change the heart that needs to be transformed...

Being made in the image of God is not about maintaining a flawless facade, a perfect record, or even a life without scars. All the power of God that raised him from the dead did not erase the scars left by the Roman nails. The marks of suffering were not removed. The resurrected Christ, the perfect image of God, chose to keep the scars of the Cross. It is his image we are being made to reflect. And we are called to come as we are.


What the leprous man recognized in Christ was enough to bring him to his feet in worship. It is this image that continues to erect the heads of the poorest beggars and bow the shoulders of the greatest emperors. It was the image of Christ that made its way into the insecurities of some in
my youth group. Though there was "nothing in his appearance that we should desire him," he lived as one touched by another kingdom, obedient to the Father even unto death. In Christ, God supersedes every longing and pain, every sin and scar, with a face that won’t go away. It is this image within us, this image we were made to reflect. Imago Dei is the
hopeful commission to become more like the one we follow. It is the cry
within us to be who we are: children made in the image of the Most
High.

-Jill Cartinni, A Slice of Infinity, Ravi Zecharias International Ministries

Personal Notes: Just the day after I was pondering about words like radiance, beauty, acceptance, love, and deserves(or not).

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