He is us & we are him
TO LOOK AT JESUS' DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION IS TO SEE US. HE IS THE TRUE REPRESENTATION OF WHO WE ARE
The statement above is an excellent summation of identification. When we try to reason out us being in Christ on Calvary and with Him and in Him throughout the entire redemptive process it goes beyond comprehension. Especially when we realize God was there too (2 Cor 5:19). The image of God in man also serves as our understanding of the watermark. A watermark is used for identification and for security purposes to prevent counterfeiting in that it certifies authentication. The mark of God in manbearing His imageis our watermarkour verification that we are are His. This mark that all men possess is permanent forever certifying man's true origin is in God his Creator. Recall the parable of the lost coin which did not lose the image it bore when out of the hands of its ownerso too is the name of God engraved in every man in spite of and before the fall of Adam. Just as the negative of photograph preserves the original moment in time of the photograph, Jesus remains the blueprint of our origin in Father God outside of the constraints of time. The wayward son could have crawled back, the lost sheep could only wander aimlessly around, the lost coin could do nothing but all three had hope in their owner. Like the coin, the one whose image and likeness is stamped upon your beingit is He who guarantees your worth.
As we were in Christ in His death we were there also in His resurrection. God planted all of humanity in the Christ being the firstborn of many brethren. When Paul stated He was the Last Adam the significance of that phrase is awesome. He was saying that Jesus was the last of the Adamic race and a new race of menthe new creation were to follow. The Last Adam was planted in the earth and a new race of menpossessing the Kingdom of God within them were born.
Isa 55:8-11 NKJV
8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD.
9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55 is not only a reference to explain why we do not understand the mind or ways of God at times but it is an Old Testament reference to the power of the seed. The seed lies dormant in the earth waiting for the water and in the soilgermination begins. You are the soil containing the seed (image) of God. The power of the seed is seen in that it is a mirror or blueprint of what the seed becomes.
Life is inherent in the seed which contains all genetic detail to produce life once germination commences. The seed is in fact a mirror reflection of the fruit it produces. John 12:24 describes the Bread of Life as a grain of wheat falling to the ground and dies (can a seed die?). Jesus was never to be a doctrine or religion but to demonstrate life of the highest virtue and then to reveal this life in every man. Unless the grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone. The purpose of any seed is to release its image, multiplying its own kind.
We must come to realize that the context of scripture is not its historic or even traditional setting, but a reality of far greater relevance, our sonshipour belonging and being claimed by God. Scripture finds its relevance only in the revelation of Christ as our true identity. We have made our Christian journey about out faith when we should place our faith in God's faith and His faith realization of things desired and confidence they will be manifest is on display in the Person, the life, death and resurrection of Christ. God believes in our inclusionin Him. Jesus Christ is the measure of the value God places on every person. God placed us in Christ before He placed us in Adam. He associated us in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4).
Made in His Image
Gene Edwards in his book, The Divine Romance, gives an interesting perception of the day we were created. He envisions the heavenly host looking over God's shoulder and God begins to form man. With the last sculpting stroke, he stepped back from the moist sod, allowing the angels to have a full view of his completed work. They gasped in amazement and cried together His Image! Visible! The sacred moment, when for the first time in the history of the universe, the invisible Creator reflected His image and likeness in a fragile vessel of flesh became the reference of a presence and purpose in the earth that would dominate human history and destiny. The progressive revelation of Gospel shows God preserving the blueprint of our design in Christ in spite of mankinds fall into sin. Our eternal association in Christ from before the foundation of the earth was redeemed (Eph 1:4-5). God placed us in Christ while we were in the loins of Adam. Religion seems to place a heavy weight on the fall of Adam forgetting our original placement in the Christ. The message of the Gospel emphasizes the power of Reconciliation that God initiated and reveals the final outcome of God's plan in the complete restoration of man to sonship in righteousness (1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 5:18-19; Rom 1:16-17; Rom 5:12-20).
Conformed To The Image Of Christ
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren (Rom 8:29)
LAMSA marked them with the likeness of the image of his Son.
MIRROR Rom 8:29 He pre-designed and engineered us from the start to be jointly fashioned in the same mold and image of his son according to the exact blueprint of his thought. We see the original and intended pattern of our lives preserved in his Son. He is the firstborn from the same womb that reveals our genesis. He confirms that we are the invention of God. (We were born anew when he was raised from the dead! 1 Pet 1:3. His resurrection co-reveals our common genesis. No wonder then that he is not ashamed to call us his brethren! We indeed share the same origin. Heb.2:11.)
Conform = summorphos = co-fashion with, to build alike.
God's ultimate purpose in our creation was that we should finally be conformed (co-fashioned) to the image of Christ. Christ was to be the firstborn among many brethren and His brethren were to be like Him. All the discipline and training of our lives is with this end in view and God has implanted in every human heart a longing, however unformed and unexpressed, after the best and highest it knows.
Our likeness to His image is an accomplished fact in the mind of God but we are in the process of being manufactured into the fullness of the image for we are told in 1 John 3:2 that it does not yet appear what we shall beor we are not yet in the perfected state of our being: but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
We have talked about the simple mirror and its reflection of the image before it but there is another type of mirror that also portrays the fullness of our image in Christ. This type of mirror was known in the ancient classical era in the areas of Greece and Rome some 200 years before the birth of Jesus. The mathematician Diocles called them the 'burning mirrors. It brings another dimension of the mirror analogy found in the Bible and it is awesome to see how it parallels our looking to the Christ and see the true image of God and ourselves. The parabolic mirror is specifically constructed to concentrate the image reflected and as it does this a physical change occurs to what is looking into the mirror. Parabolic reflectors are used to collect energy (light or sound) and bring it to a common focal point (satellite dishes, reflecting telescopes, spotlights, and car headlights).
It uses its shape to focus light in different degrees of intensity in proportion to the increasing nearness of the object being reflected. In other words as the objected reflected reaches the perfect center of the parabolic mirror the intensity of the light is markedly more powerful rendering change to the object reflected. This focusing in the perfect center of the mirror, where the light meets in absolute oneness, causes things to be visible that are normally not seen when the light is not as bright.
The mirror, as the object nears the perfect center, causes physical change from simple reflection, to heat, to image permanence, and then to a strong magnetism. The simple reflection occurs as the object stands face to face with the mirror. As the object is position closer to the perfect center heat is generated; moving a little closer and the image of reflection is made permanent on the object much like a photographic print, and finally, in the perfect center magnetism is attained and the object is pulled into the mirrorbecoming the mirror and now reflecting what it once saw. All in All.
I want to say those processes in another way because when this became real to me I understood the mirror analogy in the Bible.
First, as we behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, we come to the light focus, We do not see as Religion saysour sins, our misdeeds, our mess-ups, but we see the glory of the Lordthe opinion of God of who we really are. Looking into the mirror is not a damaging process but a life giving one. Jesus said I am the light of the world... (John 8:12). This is the revealing step of who we really are.
Second, as we draw closer, we reach the heat focus. After we realize we are like Him then He provides the means for our cleansing process to begin. This step is never the first one and nor is it damaging but is a time of beginning intimacyfeeling the heat of His loveof His body.
Third, as we draw closer still, we come to the photographic focus where the image of Christ is indelibly impressed within us and we are one in will and spirit. Here, we come to a realization that we are made like Him because we see Him as He is. We are identified here as His as we reveal His image to others.
Fourth and finally, as we come to the perfect center we reach magnetic focus and we experience the magnetism of oneness where our character is so conformed to Christ there is now perfect union resulting in All in All as we stand completely in Him and become the mirrorno longer the reflected imagereflecting fully the image and likeness of God.
1 Cor 13:12 MITCHELL For, you see, at the present moment we continue seeing and observing through means of a metal mirror, within the midst of an enigma (the result of something obscurely expressed and intimated, giving an indistinct image), but then [it will be] face to face. Right now I am progressively coming to intimately and experientially know from out of a part (a piece; a portion of the whole), but then I shall fully and accurately know and recognize, from intimate experience, correspondingly as I am also fully and accurately known, by intimate experience.
Paul expresses the idea that Jesus us the 'eikon' of God, a representation or picture of God's essence and being. Hebrews 1:3 says He is the express image with the Greek word 'charakter'which carries the meaning to impress upon or stamp denoting an engraving tool. Jesus is the image produced when pressure is applied exacting his imprint on us.
John uses the 'Logos' following Hebrew thought and not Greek in which the word or wisdom of God is applied to God Himself as if they were God. Therefore, the reasoning of Godconceived in the mind of God then demonstrated in action or brought to life. The word became flesh not the incarnate son but the incarnate word or mind of God. The purpose of God became alive carried out in the flesh.
We realize our being in Christ confirms our association with the Creator of Heaven and Earth assuring we are God's offspring. Jesus is simply introducing man to himself again because we failed to understand our identity in Christ trading it for a seemingly more acceptable identity in Adam (James 1:24, Deut 32:18, Psalm 22:27).
When looking at Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection we must see us. He is our true representation of us and of God to us. He is not an example for me but an example of me. He is our guide who accurately declares and interprets the invisible God within us. Our real identity is in the knowledge of the Christ, in the prefect mannot in religious rites. Our belief about God does not define Him nor define us but it does label usmost often wrongly. The one who persistently peers into the Gospelinto the freedom of Godinto the Gravity of Godsees himself complete in the Christ. We cannot grow in that completeness but only in the knowledge of our completenessHis image so magnetized in us that we become as He is. The image now becomes a reflectora mirror.
The Shattered Mirror Restored-Conclusion
All of mankind was represented in Adam who was the first reflection of God as God made, fashioned, and formed man in His own image. But the mirror, says Andre Rabe, was shattered during the fall of man while in Adam. The millions of pieces no longer represented a single entity but began to reflect their own image in conflict with each other (Gen 5:3).
Now, in Christ, God has gathered all humanity again into one single personthe Last Adam. In Him the pieces are restored and as originally intended they reflect accurately and completely the One who made them. In Him all the broken and disconnected pieces of mankind and all of the universe were gatheredthen redemption, then reconciliation, then restoration and now every thing is fitted together properly resonating the vibrant harmony of God (Col 1:20 MSG).
In looking at the Christ we see God and we see ourselves.
- The value God places on us is demonstrated in the cost of our redemption.
- All men are watermarked and for ever identified as belonging to the Creator of heaven and earth.
- As we stand before the mirror we see our transformation and it is not of ourselves.
- The identifying mark of the Gospel is imaged by our inclusion in the Divine Intent of God.
- To call on the God of the universe we simply breathe in and out. He is that close to everyone of us.