The writer of Genesis also wrote of an image to cling to and celebrate.
“So God created man in His own image…male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it…’” Genesis 1:27-28
The Hebrew for image is similar to the Greek, i.e. resemblance, representative, model, manifestation, and embodiment. Man is the only of God’s creations made in the image of God. A separate feature given to man above all other of God’s creations is the ‘breath of life’.
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7
‘Breath’ is synonymous with wind or spirit meaning that God imparted divine life into Adam. The Hebrew for ‘life’ in the present context includes everlasting life, spirit and soul, and interestingly, fresh running water. Thus when it was told to Adam that he would surely die if he disobeyed God’s command, it meant he would no longer have the Spirit of God within him.
So Jesus is the express image of God who took on Himself the form of a man to renew the life that Adam had lost due to sin.
This was all part of God’s plan and purpose for man before he was created. And recall that God’s chosen ones were written in the Book of Life before the foundation of the world.
“For whom He foreknew (foreordained), He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” Romans 8:29-30
Paul summarized the unfathomable grace and love displayed by the Godhead for lost man.
“And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit…The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven…And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.’” 1 Corinthians 15:45-49
God’s plan is far beyond comprehension and reason for man. What assurances do we have of its validity and completion? The God/Man Jesus prayed on our behalf for its completion.
“Jesus…lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said… ‘I do not pray for these alone (the eleven disciples), but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You…Father, I desire that they also…may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me…’” John 17:1, 20-24
There, we have it. God’s plan and purpose for man could only be fulfilled by man completely fulfilling the law, i.e. God’s required standard of righteousness. The Bible confirms that no man could do that. Therefore, the God/Man Jesus took on the form of a man, a bondservant, became obedient even unto death to pay for the sins of those who could not.
Whenever we find our self suffering in any number of ways we are prone to ask, ‘why me Lord?’ Perhaps that question is more fitting after trying to comprehend why God would offer His Son on our behalf.
The writer of Hebrews stated that those who rejected Moses’ law died without mercy. He compares rejecting Moses’ law with rejecting sin’s remedy by the vicarious death of Jesus.
“Of how much worse punishment… will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant…a common thing… For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Hebrews 10:29-30
The following words describe man’s dilemma and God’s solution.
“He paid a debt He did not owe,
I had a debt I could not pay.
I needed someone to take my sins away…
And now I sing a brand new song,
Amazing grace all day long,
Christ Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay.”