ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Made In The Image Of God

Updated on December 26, 2011


On the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel God brings Adam to life with the touch of fingertip to fingertip: an interesting choice by artist Michelangelo. In Genesis 1, for each step of creation God first speaks his intentions, then creation occurs. This narrative doesn’t identify the mechanism by which He brings into existence light itself, the sun and stars, land, birds, fish, animals, and finally human beings, unless His speech itself birthed our world. Some think it did. Genesis 2 describes a two step process: first forming the man from dust, then animating Adam by breathing into him. Perhaps Michelangelo found both speech and breath too insubstantial to paint, and so represents the beginning of conscious human life with a touch.


In whatever way He created us, we are unique. Genesis describes only humans in all of creation as being made “in His image.” What does this mean? First of all, what does it exclude? Land animals, birds and fish are all excluded. So are phenomena of nature such as the sun, moon and stars, the Northern Lights, storms, and waterfalls. Inheritors of Western monotheism may take these for granted, but polytheists and nature religions deified most of the list. 


Most interesting, scripture never describes angels as bearing His image. They are called “sons of God,” and in many ways they resemble God more than we do. Those who did not join Satan’s rebellion are sinless, still perfect. They live in heaven. They are immortal, stronger than us, and not bound by the physical limitations of our existence. What do human beings have that differentiates us from these heavenly beings, which make us more like God than they are?


For all the human fascination with angels, scripture gives only hints about their nature. This past summer our family read a novel called “Angelology” aloud, a story about a fictitious secret society which studies angels both fallen and unfallen. The author presented her angels lacking emotions. I found that strange, but then thinking back over scripture I could come up with only one instance of an emotion attributed to angels. “…All the sons of God shouted for joy” when they witnessed God’s creation of the Earth in Job 38. Angels do and say quite a bit, but if they feel things the Bible doesn’t tell us.

God by contrast is a highly emotional figure. He experiences grief, regret, anger, jealousy, love and joy. God called David “a man after my own heart,” and even a cursory reading David’s poetry reveals his deep emotionality. Did God make us in His image by giving us our emotional capacity?

Jesus Raises Lazarus
Jesus Raises Lazarus


Jesus, our model, was no stoic. Twice in the gospels an emotional display by Jesus draws comment. The first is when he weeps at Lazarus’ tomb, and those nearby say, “Look how He loved him!” The source of Jesus’ grief here is unclear: he knows he will raise Lazarus from the dead momentarily. Does death itself pain him? Is he thinking that by raising his friend he will bring down on Lazarus’ head the hatred of Jewish leaders? Is he remembering the creation of Adam, the time before human beings began to die? Is he weeping because human beings were never meant to die, and certainly the eternally existing Son, of one nature with the Father, should never experience such a thing, but now it fast approaches? Does he take a moment here to weep for himself?


For awhile after Lazarus’ tomb Jesus withdraws and quietly spends time with his own disciples, evading the crowds and also the Jewish leaders, who at this point have put a price on his head. He emerges into public view with his dramatic procession into Jerusalem for Passover, and here weeps openly for the second time. All four gospels record the Triumphal Entry, but only Luke adds the detail of Jesus’ tears. This time he tells us why: the coming destruction of Jerusalem.

Paul says, “It is no longer I that live, but Christ in me.” From the beginning we were told we were made in his image. With the advent of Jesus we become capable of being so much like him that his very life can animate us. To have the capacity to be this much like him we must share his nature in vital ways.  I find many qualities about Jesus wonderful: his intellectual brilliance, his wisdom, his moral sense, his mastery over the material world. But I value the perfection of his emotional life most. He felt deeply.  He acted spontaneously on anger, grief, sorrow and affection, all without sin. To be able to live this way would be for me “living his life.”

Photo Credits

Adam & God by ideacreamanuelaPps

Jesus raises Lazarus same as above


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)