October 28, 2010

What Did He/Does He Look Like?

To you that is.

What mental picture do you have of Jesus? What did He look like when they took Him off the cross, what does He look like now, while we await His glorious return? These questions came up in the study of Revelation in my seminary class today. The question came up as we studied the following verse (emphasis is mine):
And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.
Revelation 5:6 (New American Standard Bible)
The question is that Christ stands in heaven, the Lamb, as if slain. Does He bear the marks of His crucifixion, will He for eternity, not as a remonstrance to us, but as a reminder of His love? Clearly, the marks of crucifixion were evident after the resurrection, before He ascended into heaven:
So the other disciples were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing."
John 20:25-27 (New American Standard Bible)
Look at what some of the Old Testament prophecy had to say about His death:
Just as there were many who were appalled at him — his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness
Isaiah 52:14 (New International Version)
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Isaiah 53:7 (New International Version)
I do not even have to go into the crucifixion accounts of the Gospels, easy enough to find and read, for you to get a sense that it was a broken body taken down off the cross, and I believe that when we meet Jesus we will see the marks He bore in love and continues to do so even in His glory.

It is interesting that there is no physical description of Jesus in the bible, and I think not for good reason. while we can surmise some from where and when He walked the earth as a man, we are left to let our mind's eye capture for us what Jesus looks like. I think that allows us to approach Him on terms we are comfortable with, at least until He comes back in glory and removes all doubt.

What did He/does He look like to you? I hope whatever that image is, it is the picture of your Savior.