Very often we speak of us having been made in the image of God, and this is a true statement according to the recounting of the story of creation in Genesis 1. However, in the book of Colossians, Paul is going into some significant discussion of who Jesus is, and that is God himself in bodily form.
This is extremely important to understand. God decides to show himself in a way that we can understand, as a human being. I say “understand” somewhat loosely because, in reality, very few of the people that Jesus met actually understood him for who he was and who he claimed to be, but in any case, God decided to show himself in the flesh.
So how did this happen?
First, in John 1, we see that Jesus was there at the beginning of creation. John says that through the Word, a name that John uses for Christ, all things were created. John says, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” so Jesus was there in the beginning, although not yet in the flesh.
After the fall of Adam and Eve, God told the serpent, who was Satan, that the woman’s offspring, who we, including Satan, would eventually come to know as Jesus, would crush the serpent’s head even though the serpent would strike at the offspring’s heel.
Moses would then write about a Prophet who would come to whom the Israelites must listen. And the prophets then wrote of a Messiah who would come to free God’s people. God even told of how David’s kingdom would be established and reign forever.
All of these prophecies came true in Christ as Jesus comes as God in the form of a man. Paul says:
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily formColossians 2:9
And in the chapter before he said:
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.Colossians 1:15
Jesus came to earth as part of God’s plan. God’s Spirit came upon Mary, who was a virgin, and placed Jesus within her, making Jesus a human but with God alone as his father so we can understand that Jesus is the human form of the invisible God and the Deity who lives in bodily form.
Jesus is not only our Creator but because he came in bodily form, he is also our Savior and King.
He is our Savior because we could not, and cannot, pay for the sins that we have committed. God planned a perfect sacrifice that would one and for all pay for the sins of all people of the world. He took our place by taking our punishment for the sins that we have committed as he died on the cross. But Jesus didn’t remain dead but instead was resurrected, defeating death to live forever. This is the core of our faith, that through his sacrifice and subsequent resurrection, that we also will live eternally, following in the footsteps of Christ who was bodily resurrected, and so we also will resurrect to live with him.
When we are resurrected to live with him, it will be under his rule and reign as King forever. Jesus was given all authority in heaven and on the earth. He is the King over all of us and over all things. Following his rejection by the Israelites, God came to earth in the form of Christ to re-establish his rule and reign amongst his people, those who would be considered the true Israel. By saving us, we were purchased to be Christ’s subjects in the Kingdom of God where Jesus will rule and reign forever.
God himself came to earth and Jesus is his true image in bodily form. We can know God by knowing Christ. We can understand his words. We can follow his footsteps as he led his disciples. And we can know him because he promises to be with us, even living inside of us through his Spirit.