Friday, April 8, 2011

Truly Human

"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

God is the creator of all life. All of creation is a masterpiece made by God. As Genesis reads, everything that God had made was 'very good'. But of all creation, Man was the only thing that God made in his image. We were created with God's stamp imprinted on our soul. We are made to know God in a unique way. We were formed with the intent of being infinitely intimate with Him.  Being made in God's image, we were created to reflect His glory in all of creation. We were called to be image bearers. This is what it is to be truly human.

Yet, even though God is the glorious maker and giver of life. Though He graciously entered into relationship with His creation, Man went his own way. We rebelled. We failed to be His image bearers. We chose the path of autonomy and rebellion over intimacy with our Creator. What was the result of this? The intimacy was lost. The purpose for which we were created was thwarted. Instead of experiencing the perfect delight of knowing and cherishing our Creator, as we were created for, our hearts are restless, insecure. We feel shame (Genesis 3: 8-12). Because we are separated from God, because we don't properly live as His image bearers, our relationships are broken. Because we were created with God's image stamped in our souls, our lives are broken unless that image is restored, unless God is at the absolute center. What's the solution?

"He is the image of the invisible God" Colossians 1:15

In Genesis, God identifies this problem as sin. Sin is what thwarts our image bearing. Sin dehumanizes. To be human is to know and enjoy God as we, as humans, were created to. But Sin is a cancer that derails the true essence of our humanity. So what's the solution? How is our relationship restored? How is our image bearing renewed?

One of the most beautiful verses in the Bible is Genesis 3:15. Right after Adam and Eve fall, condemning themselves, along with all their descendants (us), God makes a marvelous promise. Even though they have turned their backs on Him, God so loved us that He promised that one day He would make things right again. He promises that He will crush Sin. Even more amazing is the way in which God does this. God sends the True Image Bearer. God sent His Son Jesus, not as someone made 'in the image' of God, but as 'THE image of God'. The Son himself was God, but became man, living in human flesh. His mission was to defeat Sin, thus redeeming Man from its curse, and restoring them to that which they were created for, knowing and enjoying God. Jesus defeated Sin by absorbing the full weight of its curse, death and shame on the cross, and then resurrecting, thus displaying His victory over the power of Sin.

The Bible says that those who truly believe in Jesus have been 'born again' or 'given new life'. That's because we are given life in 'THE image bearer'. Before we were under Adam, who failed to be an image bearer, who was under sin. Now we are under Christ, who redeems from Sin, in order to restore us to a relationship with God. Through our union with Christ, we are being conformed to His image. We are being restored. Where Adam failed, and Sin crept in, Christ's victory and grace abounded. The only way to be truly human is to be given new life through faith in Christ. And as Jesus said, He came to give abundant life.

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