It is impossible to read the Bible without images constantly appearing on the screen of our minds. After all, written words are just squiggles on a piece of paper, each of which stands for a thought or idea – or maybe a person or material thing. The power of a word is in its ability to call forth such images. When we read of a character from the past an image is evoked. When we read of Abraham or David or Daniel we see something. The actions of such characters build an identity. We may realize that what we see in our minds eye may not be the way it really was in all details. But still, we see something. And, if we pay attention to all that is said, our understanding of the real person will be accurate although the physical aspect is a part of our imagination.
When we read of Christ and follow Him through His personal ministry, then, we see Him in our mind’s eye. There are many incidents in His life we follow that build into an overwhelming picture. This picture is important to our acceptance of Him as our Lord and Master. And it has a lot to do with the allegiance we give Him and the effect we allow Him to have in molding our lives to be like His.
What is your favorite picture of Christ? Is it of Him as He is co-Creator of the Universe? John, the Apostle, said, “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that hath been made.” (John 1:3) This picture emphasizes His power and His position as a part of the Godhead. It is an important picture!
Or is your favorite image the one of Him coming before the Father and offering to be the sacrifice for our sins? In Hebrews 10:5-7 Christ is described by the Holy Spirit as coming before God and saying, “Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared for me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hadst no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God.” Without this picture, we would be totally and irrevocably without hope in a dreary world. Or, maybe your favorite picture is one of horror, not beauty, the picture of Him proving His love by hanging, suffering and finally dying on the cross.
One of my favorite images is the one in John 13 when He girds his loins with a towel and washes the disciples’ feet. It was in this act that He demonstrated that the very purpose of His coming into the world was for us, that He came to serve and teach us to serve. This picture gives a special meaning to all else that He did!