A Shade of God
“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, NIV
In the beginning the space occupied by goodness was huge. The moral character of God filled the heart and soul of that first man and woman. God has no flesh to imitate but he has perfection.
With the first sin, goodness began to shrink until, in some, it became a mere pinprick or better said, as difficult to find as that proverbial “needle in a haystack.” How much, or how little, remained was still far from what satisfied the righteous requirements of God.
The root word from which “image” comes means “shade.” Man went from there being a slight degree of difference between himself and God (for only God can be God) to having only a slight amount of “God-ness” in him.
Only God could restore what that first sin, and the nature it imparted to all the generations after it, had lost. So he took on flesh, accepted the consequences for sin that he, as God, had dictated for its punishment, and provided the means for the restoration of that image through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Since the beginning of time and the end of innocence, God’s mission has been to drive back the darkness of the soul and fill it once again with the goodness that was lost.
“For those God foreknew he also predestinated to be conformed to the likeness of his Son…He is the image of the invisible God…For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things…by making peace through his blood shed on the cross…Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above…set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God…[and] is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” —Romans 8:29, Colossians 1:15, 19; 3:1. 2, 10, NIV.
Number One priority for this new year for all those who belong to Christ is to allow the Spirit of God to increase the space the shade of God occupies in our lives by setting our minds on his purposes for us, by allowing him to move us just a little bit closer to what once was when time first began and man was as fully possessed by God-likeness as he could be.