THE TRUE IMAGEBEARER
Entering into the story…
Jesus is God’s personal Self-Revelation as Triune. When we meet Jesus, we actually meet the Incarnate Son of God, and his Father, and the Holy Spirit. The Triune God has been made known to us in and through Jesus, who also makes known what truly human life in the Holy Spirit looks like. – Cherith Nordling
Read the passage linked below and imagine the scene as if you were a movie director working with the characters. Often, we do not enter scripture with our humanity intact and we do not dignify the characters we find there by giving them their humanity in return. The goal of Lectio Divina is to meditate on the scene we find there and allow the characters to speak to us by vividly imagining the scene as if we are standing there physically too. Ask Holy Spirit to make the scenario come to life as you read using all of your senses to visualise everything in the scene…
Prophecy of the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON from 700 years before a little boy was named Jesus, (a common name at the time).
Jesus talks about His exclusivity as he reads the scroll in the synagogue, essentially saying…”today Isaiah 61 is fulfilled in me!” He then “drops the mic” and sits down…
As you read Isaiah 53 what strikes you about this incarnational expression of the fulfilment of the whole story of God in human form? Jesus looks like us. His family watched him grow up. Now he is back in Nazareth, his home and he looks like everyone else in the room, everybody recognises Him. Yet, He is saying as Joseph and Mary’s son that He is the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah 53 and 61. How arrogant? How blasphemous? How dare He come to his hometown and claim to be the Messiah personified. Notice Jesus’ confidence.
Can you see why the crowd could grow livid and as the blood fills their eyes, they want to kill him! To add salt to the wound the text reads like this:
He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on Him, intent. Then He started in, “You’ve just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place.”
22 All who were there, watching and listening, were surprised at how well he spoke. But they also said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son, the one we’ve known since he was a youngster?”
23-27 He answered, “I suppose you’re going to quote the proverb, ‘Doctor, go heal yourself. Do here in your hometown what we heard you did in Capernaum.’ Well, let me tell you something: No prophet is ever welcomed in his hometown. Isn’t it a fact that there were many widows in Israel at the time of Elijah during that three and a half years of drought when famine devastated the land, but the only widow to whom Elijah was sent was in Sarepta in Sidon? And there were many lepers in Israel at the time of the prophet Elisha but the only one cleansed was Naaman the Syrian.”
He is now saying, not only have you rejected your own, a child of your community, but similarly, Israel as a whole has rejected their messiah, so now the message will go to the gentile! Ouch… What would they say to that?
28-30 That set everyone in the meeting place seething with anger. They threw him out, banishing him from the village, then took him to a mountain cliff at the edge of the village to throw him to his doom, but he gave them the slip and was on his way.
1) Prepare: Close your eyes, breathe, clear your mind, and ask God to enter into this time of prayer with you. Ask God to speak to you through this image.
2) Lectio (read): Open your eyes and scan the image. Note what draws your interest, but continue to scan the whole image. Close and rest your eyes a minute.
3) Mediatio (meditate): Open your eyes and let your eyes be led. Focus on just the part of the image that caught your eyes and name it. Close your eyes, seeing that piece of the image in your mind.
4) Oratio (pray): Open your eyes and look again at the piece of the image that caught your eye. Allow it to bring forth a word, image, or emotion. Close and rest your eyes.
5) Contemplatio (contemplation): Open your eyes and gaze at the whole image. What is God speaking to you today through this image? How will you respond to Him? Spend time processing that with God. Pray or journal about it.
Every Covenant fulfilled in this One Son.
With All Creation (Covenant with Adam and Eve in the Garden): Jesus came made of atoms, human and yet partaking of Trinitarian fellowship from within a body in every moment of His life.
With Every Creature (Covenant with Noah after the Flood): He became incarnate as a human being and lived as the second person of the Trinity as a Creature.
With Human Families (Covenant to Abraham to give him a promised son and bless all nations): He joined a human family, redeeming His genealogy and all that came before by being a son and a brother. Fully human.
With one Nation (Covenant to build an everlasting Kingdom): He was born a Jew in Palestine. He is the perfect Israelite, where all of God’s chosen people failed to keep the covenant, He fulfils it in every part.
With all Nations (Covenant in the Great Commission and the filling of the Holy Spirit to empower them to go into all the world): He reached out to Jews and non-Jews with the Kingdom of God. All nations are included in this good news.
With the Coming Kingdom (Covenant to establish an everlasting Kingdom): He said the Kingdom has come and prayed let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
With Reuniting Heaven and Earth (Covenant to reconcile all things into a New Heaven and New Earth into full Trinitarian Fellowship): He comes as the second Adam to fulfil the covenants of old and the Law from the human side of the equation and reunite heaven and earth as it was in the beginning, so it will be in the New Creation as the Kingdom spreads to encompass all things once more.
So send I you to labor unrewarded,
To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown,
To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing-
So send I you to toil for Me alone.
So send I you to bind the bruised and broken,
O’er wand’ring souls to work, to weep, to wake,
To bear the burdens of a world aweary-
So send I you to suffer for My sake.
So send I you to loneliness and longing,
With heart hung’ring for the loved and known,
Forsaking home and kindred, friend and dear one-
So send I you to know My love alone.
So send I you to leave your life’s ambition,
To die to dear desire, self-will resign,
To labor long, and love where men revile you-
So send I you to lose your life in Mine.
So send I you to hearts made hard by hatred,
To eyes made blind because they will not see,
To spend, tho’ it be blood, to spend and spare not-
So send I you to taste of Calvary.
– A hymn by Margaret Clarkson
Embodied Spirituality in Practice
A DISCIPLINE OR PRACTICE TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR LIFE.
INSPIRATION AND PRACTICAL APPLICATION FROM A CREATIVE
DISCOVER YOUR OWN PERSONAL STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT AS AN IMAGEBEARER OF GOD
This is a chance to express yourself creatively. Perhaps something in this part of the timeline has challenged, excited or inspired you. You may want to think about how your could express that through drawing, writing, painting, filming, designing or photographing something to share with others here at creativeimagebearers.com.
So write a haiku, poem, song or create a piece to express yourself and share it with us!
Do a timeline of your life here, just as you did for your nation… highlight the different stages of human development and give some thought to Jesus who was like us in every way and yet was without sin. Think of Him at every age and event you highlight in your timeline, good and bad, and ask yourself if He can identify with your humanity and you with His? What can you learn from this exercise?
Final Take-Away to give context…
PROVOKE THOUGHTS, QUESTIONS…
he Second person of Trinity comes from the womb of a teenage girl through a virgin birth at an inopportune time to fulfil the voice of the prophets of old. He comes with the beating heart of God embedded in a human chest to fulfil the law and affirm it in every part of His being. He tore down the legalistic fences and left us with a relational love for God. He restored the broken, set the captives free and fed the hungry bringing abundance and order and beauty as well as deliverance, healing and resurrection bursting at the seams. He calmed nature, He battled demons and conquered death as the sacrificial lamb slain before the foundation of the world. This was always the plan. He did it all made in the image of God and Man
e had no advantage over us, like us He had to grow into His identity, battle with evil and make the difficult choices while being in moment by moment unbroken relationship and obedience to Father and Holy Spirit. Moment by moment sinless through hard won choices which would lead Him to a brutal death hanging from a fallen tree. His death would secure the rights for every imagebearer to be free, for the tree He hung upon to be redeemed and for the atoms He was made of to be reborn incorruptible in a resurrected body. He is the template, the blueprint, the prototype of what we will one day be. He has the record of His life, the scar tissue of His humanity etched into His body now and forever at the right hand of God.
ust as a missionary will go to a people not ones own and adopt the best of their culture to incorporate it into ones lifestyle and family. So, Jesus went back to Trinity, not as the Spirit of Christ, but included His human imagebearing not just for the 33 years He was here on earth, but from His birth and through His death and resurrection and ascension, He fights for our human DNA to be spliced into Trinitarian Fellowship forevermore. He is a Human imagebearer standing as a full member of the Trinity and holding all things together even up until this moment. He, who became nothing for us, has been raised up so that everything can be put under His feet. His feet are human. Humanity will be the pinnacle of the New Creation just as it was in the First Creation.
WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU
Watch all seven of the Bible Project Videos that highlight what Jesus has done…
1. The Image of God
2. Heaven and Earth
5. Day of the Lord
6. Sacrifice and Atonement
7. The Gospel of the Kingdom
What problem does Jesus solve in each video? How does He do so? What images/words are repeated in each video? Draw your own timeline for each video.
Stages of Human Development – TV series on Netflix
Flight of Faith: The Jesus Story
Jesus: Historical Evidence
“We own our emotions, they don’t own us.”
TED Talk on how to own your emotions in a healthy way: http://t.ted.com/kZ3eEcm
Watch the Bible Project Gospel Series: