So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
The art studio looked more like a well painted warehouse. Gray walls, good lighting, all the signs for a trendy presentation. As you enter, you see the unexpected: a pile of trash. Then you begin to think, Oh, it is one of those art shows. Weird things that are presented as “art” for you to marvel at . . . even though no one really gets it but is too scared to admit it.
But then, the lights dim to near darkness. From the corner of the room comes a spotlight that grabs your attention. The brightness pierces the darkness, dances through the room, until it hits the pile of trash. The air leaves the room as the audience gasps in wonder. As the light hits the pile of discarded material, a shadow thrusts up on the wall. The shadow is unmistakably that of a person. Whole and complete.
When the light shined just right on what the world disregard, that which was broken became an object of absolute beauty.
So far in the story, God has simply set the stage. Speaking, naming, blessing, delighting over his creation. Now, he introduces some of the main characters in the story: humanity.
Mankind, made in the image of God, is meant to mirror God, individually and collectively.
God is triune, meaning he exists in community within himself: Father, Son, and Spirit. Each one unified as divinity, equal in authority, and yet distinct from one another in person and role. United. Equal. Yet distinct. This is our triune God.
The love shared between the Father, Son, and Spirit overflow into creation.
Here, the play slows down, and God stops speaking and starts singing. The Bible’s first poem is when God sings humanity into being.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
In this poem we see the mirror of our God in the likeness of man. United together in our shared identity as image bearers of God. Equal in dignity, value, and worth before God and one another. Distinct in our person and role.
United. Equal. Yet distinct. Now where have I seen that before?
Humanity is made to mirror our God. As the moon reflects the sun on a dark night, mankind was meant to reflect the glory of God onto God's creation.
Sadly, our image has been marred. Sin causes separation, from God and one another. Humanity is not united, but divided. We do not see one another as equals, but seek to downgrade one another. We do not celebrate differences, but we either blur the lines between differences, or we seek to destroy one another in our differences.
Humanity is beautifully made, yet tragically broken.
Yet Jesus comes in as a new kind of human. Like his Father, Jesus is a master craftsman. Where the Father created, Jesus will recreate. He will take what was broken and discarded and craft something that is beautiful again.
Jesus steps into the divide and unites, brings people together of all walks of life as equals, and makes us into a new type of people, who sees differences in gifts, personalities, backgrounds, and ethnicities as a distinction to celebrate and not a difference to divide us.
Jesus is creating a new type of humanity, because he was a new type of person. He is restoring our image of God back to us. You were made in his image, and are being remade into his likeness.
We are transformed when we see and embrace “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
You may see yourself as someone broken, discarded, unusable because of past sins or present situations. But in the hands of the Master, you are his poetry. “For we are his workmanship (poetry), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
When the light of Jesus shines on you, no matter how broken, he makes you into something beautiful.
“And we all, with unveiled faces, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 )