Pictures of Jesus the Christ

The question can be asked if we know what Jesus Christ looked like and is it right for us to hang pictures of Him in our homes and Churches?  The most important answer is the context of the depiction, where God knows our hearts and thoughts to judge us.  As all of us grow in love and understanding of Jesus the Christ, we can see that God always exercises Grace and Mercy towards us when we do anything contrary to His Will and when we do it unintentionally.  In the great movies done on the life of Christ, all of us who truly love Him are always moved in our spirit which is absolutely a wonderful experience.  This topic is about other aspects to consider dealing with depictions of Jesus the Christ.

Some questions and scriptures to bring into focus:

  1. There are religious icons and statues in the history of the Church which were used to convey the mission of Jesus the Christ to people who at times were illiterate or before the time when the scriptures were translated to the common language of the country's inhabitants.  Is it wrong to have statues or icons like the Stations of the Cross in the Roman Catholic Church?  No it is not.  Recall that a prediction of Jesus was He was like the "brazen serpent" (see John 3:14) that Moses had made so that when the people looked at it, they were healed from the snake bite.  The problem arose later when Israel began to worship the brazen serpent so Hezekiah the King destroyed it in 2 Kings 18:4.
  2. Was Jesus the Christ a western European looking man as so many modern day images show?  No, He most likely was of olive skin and had many characteristics of the Jewish men of that day.
  3. As humans we have render Jesus based on what we perceive and guess. Intentionally and unintentionally pride in one’s own racial characteristics is transferred into the “icons” and paintings.  This is wrong, albeit in most cases not intended to insult God, as God made all of us (all races) in His likeness but it does have the possible affect of excluding and offending groups of peoples.  Remember that the scriptures has many passages like Leviticus 26:1 "Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God", Exodus 20:4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth", and other scriptures tell us to not make any image of God and of course fake gods.
  4. Do the current images and paintings match historic paintings of Jesus the Christ?  No they do not as they have changed over the centuries.
  5. Is the "Shroud of Turin" real and if so does it convey the image of Jesus the Christ?  Even if it is real, it is not in good enough quality to get a very good indication of what Jesus looked like and remember, assuming it is real, it was after the crucifixion where He previously would have had been beaten beyond recognition (marred beyond human likeness) including having his beard or parts of his beard plucked from his face according references in Isaiah chapters 52 through 53, Psalm 22 and other scriptures.  Read this link: "Jesus describes what He is experiencing on the Cross in Psalm 22".
  6. Are there any description of Jesus in the Scriptures that describe His eye, hair or skin color or His height, weight or perhaps if He was hairy or not when He was on earth in the mission of the Lamb slain before the foundation of the Earth?  No.  What we do know from Isaiah 53:2 ".. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him."  Note that Jesus the Christ in His risen body when He returns to join God the Father and God the Holy Spirit has some very wonderful descriptions that depicts His majesty and power.  Recall that before He ascended, Jesus had the marks of the nails in His wrists and His feet along with mark where the sword had pierced Him (see John 20:20 and Revelation 5:6).  Regarding the appearance of the future Jesus the Christ, see Revelation 1:13-16 "hair white like wool or snow", "eyes blazing fire", "feet bronze glowing in a furnace", "face like the sun shining in all its brilliance".

Satanic use of the man made images of Christ?

In the last 3 and 1/2 years of the Tribulation Period there is the beast that is revealed when (1) Satan, the (2) Antichrist and the (3) False Prophet set up their counterfeit trinity to "match" the triune true God.  What we do know, of the beast of Revelation, is he asserts himself to be god.  Two relevant scripture references to his appearance and identity.  Zechariah 11:17 "Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock! A sword will be on his arm and on his right eye! His arm will be totally withered, and his right eye will be blind."  This apparently was caused by the head wound listed in Revelation 13:3 "One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast."  Regarding the nationality of the Antichrist, he comes from the Roman Empire rebuilt from information contained in the Book of Daniel where the reader should also recall the Roman Empire was Europe and parts of the Middle East including a place known as Assyria.  From Isaiah 10:5-6, Isaiah 14:25 and Micah 5:5 it appears to indicate the Antichrist will be Assyrian which is a region that was part of the Babylonians and nearby Persians.  Additionally this was the same location of first empire, which was rulled by  Nimrod (Genesis 10:8 - 11).

It is possible and conjecture that Satan has a future plan to have his antichrist have a resemblance to depictions of Christ for the purpose of acceptance and deception?  It is easier to deceive when perceptions from appearance convey assertions.  As an example, we would be more likely to trust a banker if the banker dresses and acts what we think a banker should look and act like.  When the antichrist proclaims he is god, then he most likely will try to dress and act like one.  What we do know from scripture is he is a man of "great speech and blasphemies" Revelation 13:5.  All of us have seen men, who have come and gone, who proclaimed themselves to be Jesus Christ and many have tried to look like the depictions in movies and paintings.  Mathew 24:5 "For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Messiah,' and will deceive many."

 

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