Finally, at just the right time, God sent the exact image and perfect representation of himself. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Second Adam, was no longer just a piece of the puzzle. He was the complete picture of God, revealed not in a scroll, not in lightning or thunder or smoke or fire, but in a body, filled with the Spirit of God and undefiled by sin. Now those who wanted to know what God was really like were directed to look at Jesus, the One who came in human flesh and lived among us.
And here’s a glimpse of what three and a half years of accurate representation looked like: the dead raised, crowds flocking, hungry mouths filled, bodies healed, shame covered, tormented minds delivered, the hopeless embraced, sins forgiven, and good news proclaimed! Then…the Hope of the world rejected, betrayed, and delivered to the tormentors, stripped naked, body beaten, thirst unquenched, crowds mocking, crucified on cross—still good news?
Today, nearly 2000 years after Jesus of Nazareth walked the dusty streets of Jerusalem, God’s plan to show the world what he’s really like is still in effect. He still desires to do it through the flesh and blood Body of Jesus Christ, filled with the Spirit and sent out to speak the words and perform the works of the Father. The difference is that he is not just revealing himself through one person, but through a people who are made one by the work of Christ and the Spirit of God. The One in whom dwells all the fullness of deity now dwells in us, the Body of Christ, the Church. It is as the corporate Body of Christ submits to the Heavenly Father like Jesus did when he was on the earth, that we will do even greater things than Jesus did, just as he promised. We represent a Living God who speaks and acts today just as he did 2000 years ago.
Obviously we are not fully there…yet. Though Christ has made it possible for our sin nature to be crucified with him, and for us to have brand new spirits through his resurrection, and for us to be filled up and made one with his Holy Spirit through his ascension, we are still in process. It is as we submit to this process that we will find ourselves as a people moving ever forward from incompleteness to completeness, looking more and more like Jesus Christ, and therefore becoming more and more accurate in our representation of our Heavenly Father.
We are being transformed by the renewing of our minds and growing up into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Old desires are being exchanged for new ones. Idols, strongholds, addictions, habits, and old mindsets are all needing to be deconstructed so that the King of kings may rebuild what he wants to and establish his rule and reign of righteousness, peace, and joy in every single area of our lives. As we say yes to his transforming work in our lives, we are able to become agents of transformation and reconciliation in our community and world, demonstrating by word, deed, and life the nature of the God we serve and extending to those around us an invitation into a life-giving relationship with him through Jesus Christ.