Biblical Imagery - Show me His Glory!

The Bible is full of images. Images typically have a different kind of value than what they represent, but there are certain images that derive their value by what they embody. An example of this type of image from our every day life is money. The cost of the polymer used to make a $20 bill is insignificant, but its value is determined by what it represents. In fact,  destroying the polymer image also destroys its value even though the physical value of the image has little to no value on its own.

As Christians we need to be careful to view the images revealed in Scripture according to their value, and not simply as physical images. Western Christianity has a tendency to consider the material world as non-overlapping with the spiritual world, but those two worlds are intrinsically intertwined. Our actions in the material world reveal our beliefs about the spiritual world.

The clearest example of this is Jesus. Jesus "is the image of the invisible God" (Col 1:15). Jesus is not just a man, but God himself. If we only look at Jesus as a physical image then we take away His deity and completely liquidate His worth. Human beings are not the image of God, but we are made in His image.
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Gen. 1:27).
Our worth is derived from the worth of God. This is why "whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall His blood be shed, for God made man in His own image (Gen. 9:6)." To kill another human being is to do violence to God Himself, which is why judgment is required. Other examples of images in Scripture are marriage and the Lord's supper.

Marriage is an image of Christ and the Church with regards to its unity. We read in Ephesians 5:31-32,
 "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church
When we get divorced, fight, marry non-Christians, etc... we are not only damaging ourselves, but we disfigure the relationship between Christ and the church. Bringing the work of Christ into disrepute should be abhorrent to all Christians, but often we treat it like it is our personal business and does not affect anyone else.  Good marriages reflect a portion of what union with Christ is like.

Our union with Christ is demonstrated in the Lord's supper. Jesus said,
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. (John 6:53)
This verse is not referring to cannibalism but to believing in the Son of Man with the innermost part of our being. We demonstrate this belief specifically in regards to His death.
"Take eat; this my body." And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the for the forgiveness of sins. (Matt. 26:26-28)
When we participate in the Lord's supper we are remembering His death in a very real way. It is not that the bread turns into His physical body and the wine His physical blood, but that we truly have fellowship with Him. In contrast, to take part of this supper in an unholy way would be to defile the sacrifice of Jesus for your sins.

As Christians, we all consider rectangular polymer according to its value. In a similar way, we need to start treating the images in Scripture accordingly. When we destroy these images we are destroying their true value. Likewise when we uphold these images we actively display the glory of God, their true value.


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