The apostles could hardly have forgotten the face of their Lord, yet their writings contain no description. They who worked hard to preserve Christ’s words were content to allow his appearance to be forgotten. It cannot have been mere practicality; if they could find scribes, they could also have employed carvers or painters.
The mere natural sight of Jesus, however dear and beloved, did not bring the grace of faith during His days on earth. So, why do we seek instruction or edification through images made centuries later? Mere reflections, however true or faithful, cannot produce a more significant effect than the original. Take all of our Christmas cards, shows, and movies, our great works of art; at their best, they can only give us a second-hand approximation of what was secondary to the apostle’s faith.
Shall we say that God has left his people no tangible, visible means to be edified in their faith? We must enliven our understanding of the sacraments and deepen our appreciation. In baptism, we are washed with water that can be felt, and seen as Christ has washed away our sins. In the Lord’s Supper, Christ feeds us by faith with his very body and blood in the seen, smelled, felt, and tasted elements. These are great gifts, indeed! Read more»
Kevin White | “On Images of Christ” | March 22, 2013
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