“…in our image and after our likeness…….” Gen. 1:26
What kind of paint is required for such a thing? What stone, what block of wood is employed to make anything in the “likeness” of God? For God to make man in His image and after His likeness” is a fantastic thing, if it can be called a “thing” at all. Whatever it will be, it cannot be fashioned out of clay, not even Eden’s. This work is too wonderful for a potter’s wheel. In this “Let us…” is the commissioning of a divine portrait of God’s own likeness in pigments too precious to be found on any Rembrandt’s pallet. This commission was to be God’s finest work of art. This “idea,” this little “logos,” is no afterthought, it was glory. What is the likeness of the invisible God? It is not the flesh and blood of which Adam was made. It was not the flesh, for beasts have enough of that. Nor was it spirit or the spark of life, for that is seen in doves and angels ascending and descending. This “image” was to be put on a certain kind of canvas called the living soul. But like any canvas it merely holds the likeness and the image and is not the thing itself. The likeness is the essence. Adam without the essence is but an easel left behind after the art itself is stolen. We have been admiring the easels ever since, pretending to understand and appreciate fine art.

The image was lost (or stolen) one day. What is the image, or the likeness? What was there one minute, and gone the next? It was holiness. What was striped leaving only the empty frame? Holiness. Yes, and how unlike God we are without it. “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” Jesus, the visible image of the invisible God came to redeem and to restore us. Like a masterpiece hidden beneath the brush of some imposter’s paints, and covered with the grime and dirt of centuries, it must be found, it must be restored. Salvation is a delicate work. First the spirit, now the soul, then the body. When Jesus asked the crippled, “wilt thou be made whole?” He was speaking of more than flesh and bones. No one is whole without being holy. It is wanting to be like Jesus.