I love hearing Michael Reeves talk about Jesus, so I jumped at the chance to listen to him yesterday on the free live stream of Ligonier’s national conference. I was not disappointed. His topic was “Christ the Image of God,” and you can listen to it below (starting at 16:20).
After describing Jesus beautifully and compellingly, Reeves explains how our true humanity—the way we were meant to be as creatures made in the image of God—is restored by being in Christ and looking at Him, the perfect image of God:
Our only hope of wholeness is in Christ, the image of God. Humanity can be mended nowhere else….
Do you remember Paul’s argument in 2 Corinthians 3? It’s worth turning to. In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul was thinking of Moses, who asked to see—to look—upon the glory of the Lord. And the result was, we read, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Law in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know the skin of his face shone because he’d been talking with God.
And Paul writes, commenting on that, 2 Corinthians 3:18: “And we all [like Moses] with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” Created in the image of God that we might be like God—sharing His life, His vitality, His loving, holy character—we become what we were made to be by looking to Christ, who is the image of God. Beholding Him, we become most truly human. And all our faculties—our minds, our hearts, our lives—get aligned right, and we are transformed into His image.
Friends, it matters what you fix your gaze on every day. Life, righteousness, holiness, redemption are found in Jesus, and are found by those—and only those—who look to Him believingly.
And perhaps I should be clearer: It is not that we look, get some sense of what He’s like, and then go away and strain to make ourselves like Him. No, no, we become like Him through the very looking. The very sight of Him is a transforming thing. And so, for now, contemplating Him by faith, we begin to be transformed into His likeness. But so potent is His glory that when we clap eyes upon Him physically at His second coming, then, 1 John 3:2: “When He appears we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.” That full, unveiled, physical sight of the glorified Jesus will be so majestically affecting, it will transform our very bodies around us. The sight of Him now, by the Spirit, makes us more like Him spiritually. The sight of Him then, face to face, will finally make us—body and soul—as He is.
If you want to look at Jesus more deeply, I recommend Reeves’s book Rejoicing in Christ.
Right now, Ligonier is offering free live streaming of all of their teaching series as a way to support Christians whose church gatherings are being canceled. They offer suggestions for series relevant to our current health and economic crisis, or you can browse all of their topics. I encourage you to take advantage of their generous offer while you can.