Back in the day, if you were king and wanted to remind all the people in your kingdom just who was in charge, you’d set up statues of yourself at strategic places. When your citizens saw this statue – when they saw your image – they would know just who had power over their lives. So when God says in the very first chapter of the Bible, “Let us make man in our image… (Gen 1.27),” He is saying something pretty amazing. He is saying that men and women are visible reminders in this world of His divine kingship. It isn’t just that we reflect His image. We are His image. So when you see another human, when you look in the mirror, you are seeing someone who is God’s image in the story of this world… a visible, tangible person that shows us that the Divine King rules.
This means that regardless of your religious convictions, ethnic origins, nationality, mental health, physical beauty, talents, family name, how much money you have, etc., you have great dignity and value. You are representation of God’s rule, His beauty, His goodness, His truth. You are created and fashioned to live in the royal courts of the High King of heaven.
Our problem is that we are rebel images. The High King of heaven has told us the best way to live in His kingdom, but we have rejected His words and His authority. We have sought to re-create our lives in our image, and we have made a mess of things. We want and don’t have, so we grasp and scrap and yearn for what isn’t ours to fill the great empty. We harm ourselves or we turn and harm others or both. At some point in time – and sometimes we aren’t sure how we got there – filled with regret or shame or guilt or confusion or ________, we feel less than human. We feel value-less. So, with a stolen bottle of pills or a razor against our flesh or a gun in our hands, we seek to remove what has no value from the story of this world.
Remember the Story-Teller. Regardless of the pain that has been written into your story, regardless of how you got to where you are or what’s been done to you, remember He has placed you in this story as His image, to bear His authority, designed for dignity, to share in the love of His family. Remember that the Story-Teller entered the story Himself, fully human, to endure the struggles and pain of life as we find it. And though the Story-Teller, Jesus Christ, was swallowed by death, yet His story-telling is more powerful than even death itself. For the Heavenly Father raised Him from the dead, never to die again. He now continues to write His grand story from His throne, inviting all His rebel images to lay down their rebellion, to embrace His kingdom, and find their valued place in His royal family. You have value.
Hear these words that He speaks to those who know they are broken images and embrace their place in the kingdom and family of the High King of heaven: “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2.9).”