The Image of God Restored
The whole story of the Bible reveals the way God has prepared to restore His image-bearers to Himself. From our online event Made in the Image of God, Sinclair Ferguson examines the extent of the sacrifice required for this restoration to take place.
Imagine a father who loves his son and so loves his son, he hires the greatest portrait painter in the world to paint a portrait of his son. And suddenly, one night, he hears a sound in the house, the alarm bells are ringing. He puts on the lights, and he sees a man running out of his house with the great portrait under his arm. And he is desolate. He calls the police. The police come; they take fingerprints. The CSI people come; they do all the things that they do on television. And then, three weeks later, a policeman turns up at his house with a great smile on his face and says, “Sir, we have caught the thief.” Now, this father believes in justice, just like you believe in justice. It’s good they caught the thief. But you’re not so interested in the issue of whether they caught the thief. What do you say to the policeman if you’re the father? You say, “Did you get my portrait back?”
And in a way, that’s a parable of the gospel, isn’t it? God, of course, is wholly committed to justice, to judging sin, to overcoming the serpent, Satan, who has been engaged in the theft of God’s image. He just did not have a portrait painted. He Himself created a living portrait. And perhaps we can think about this, that the whole story of the Bible is the way in which God gives expression to the fact that He wants His portrait back. He wants the portrait of His Son that He painted, the living portraits of His Son that He painted. He wants that portrait back.
And the whole story of the Bible is how He prepared the way for that to happen and how it did happen. How did it happen? You know the story well. But the story has tremendous significance in this context, doesn’t it? The way in which He restored the portrait was by sending the original, by sending the original in such a way that the original Himself would be defaced.