In a day where image means everything, is there any reason why we shouldn’t have an image of Jesus Christ? After all, we see the image of Jesus Christ everywhere – books, cartoons, movies, jewelry, post cards, wall hangings, websites, bill boards, statutes, stain glass windows, giant crosses, candles, and many other places.
All over the world people have an image of Jesus Christ either hanging on their walls at home/office/church or hanging around their necks. Some have the picture of a white Jesus with long silky smooth hair (like a press and curl), blue eyes, and porcelain skin. Other have the same picture, but Jesus is now black. Based on this picture, some would say Jesus is not half bad looking. If you take the movies point of view, some would say Jesus was downright good-looking. A few actors who’ve played the role of Jesus would get some women hot and bothered by their good looks.
Jesus’ face doesn’t just hang on the wall; it hangs around people’s necks. The images of Jesus as a piece of jewelry are made from a variety of materials with silver and gold being the most popular. Other materials used to make an image of Jesus include wood, brass, stone, glass, clay, precious stones, and anything else that can be shaped and molded.
Everywhere we turn we can see Jesus. This makes us happy because have a face to go with the invisible God we serve. We have something tangible to hold on to. So what’s wrong with that?
Well, nothing is wrong with that if you don’t believe in what the Bible teaches. On the other hand, if you do believe in the Bible, which you probably do since you believe in Jesus Christ, then everything is wrong with having an image of him.
What Do the Scriptures Say?
When God, the creator of the heavens and earth, the Great I AM, spoke to Israel the “Ten Words,” or commandments have you, the second thing he said to them was,
You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline. You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, ADONAI (YHVH) your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvoth (commands). Exodus 20:4-6 CJB
God didn’t just make this rule about other creations. He included himself and his son in this list. He is from the heavens above, is he not? The heavens hold his throne room.
‘Heaven is my throne,’ says ADONAI, ‘and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house could you build for me? What kind of place could you devise for my rest?’ Acts 7:49 CJB
Based on the scriptures above it would seem to me that having a picture of Jesus is a violation. Although Colossians 1:15 tells us Jesus “is the visible image of the invisible God. He is supreme over all creation,” it doesn’t give the license to make an image of him.
The disciples walked with him daily, but when Jesus was resurrected they didn’t even recognize him until he opened their eyes. He sat there teaching them about himself from Moses to the prophets.
“Didn’t the Messiah have to die like this before entering his glory?” Then, starting with Moshe and all the prophets, he explained to them the things that can be found throughout the Tanakh concerning himself. They approached the village where they were going. He made as if he were going on farther; but they held him back, saying, “Stay with us, for it’s almost evening, and it’s getting dark.” So he went in to stay with them. As he was reclining with them at the table, he took the matzah, made the b’rakhah, broke it and handed it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. But he became invisible to them. They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn inside us as he spoke to us on the road, opening up the Tanakh to us?” They got up at once, returned to Yerushalayim and found the Eleven gathered together with their friends, saying, “It’s true! The Lord has risen! Shim’on saw him!” Then the two told what had happened on the road and how he had become known to them in the breaking of the matzah. They were still talking about it when — there he was, standing among them! Luke 24:26-36 CJB
The Dangers of an Image of Jesus
When we put a face to Jesus then we go against the scriptures and this causes us to move further away from the Great I AM.
If a man showed up today and looked like the pictures we have hanging up everywhere, we would swear it was Jesus coming back. We would forget what the scriptures say about him coming in a cloud of glory. We would forget that no one really knows what he looks like. We would just look at the man whose image has been programmed into our minds since we were little and accept him and all his wondrous ways.
We would be quick to say he is the Christ coming to set up his kingdom on the earth. We wouldn’t doubt it, especially if he is healing incurable diseases, restoring hearing loss, creating legs where there are none. We would drop to our knees and worship this man without a second thought.
You don’t believe me?
Millions of people are on their knees right now worshipping statutes that look like him. They are lighting candles with his face on it for loved ones. They are claiming Jesus showed himself to them for one reason or another. They even dream about him and guess what he looks like? He looks like the same image being spread throughout the world – pale skin, blue eyes, and long hair.
Can you imagine what will happen if a man who looked like the image of Jesus walked the earth and did miracles? Do you realize how many people will drop everything just to get a glimpse of him? Do you understand the worship that would take place? All of this because we were led to believe Jesus looked a certain way.
And all of this would hurt our Father who is in heaven. If that is not our goal then let us examine ourselves and ask God to open our eyes to anyway that may be displeasing to him. Then let us make the changes we need to please our Elohim of all gods.
Our Heavenly Father, who is in heaven,
Open our eyes to your truth. Help us to recognize where we are going wrong when it comes to worshipping someone or something other than you. Then give us the strength to walk away from this evil thing and turn to pursue you with all of our hearts, minds, and souls.
In Yeshua the Messiah’s name, Amen.