Wednesday, May 25, 2005
"He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." This simple statement by Christ in John 14:9 was surely not meant to tell us that Christ is the same person or being as the Father, for Christ prayed to the Father, sought to do not His own will but the Father's, said that His Father was greater than He (John 14:28), ascended after His Resurrection to return to His Father, called His Father His God (John 20:17), and was later seen standing at the right hand of the Father (Acts 7:55,56). No, what Christ surely meant was the same concept that Paul conveys in Hebrews 1:3 when he states that Jesus is "the express image of his [the Father's] person." In other words, Christ is in the image of the Father and looks like Him, enough so that to see the Son is to see the Father, just as He is so one in mind and purpose with the Father that to know the Son is to know the Father (John 14:7).
Adam's son, Seth, was said to be in the likeness and image of his father, Adam (Gen. 5:1-3), using the same words from Gen. 1:26,27 that tell us that we are physically created in the image and likeness of God, an unmistakable reference to the physical image. If the son of the first man, Adam, looked like his father, it should not strain our faith to know that the Son of the Ultimate Man and Father should look just like His Parent.
Christ was born with a physical body and was resurrected with that body, so real and tangible and in the same image as us that He could not only be recognized but handled and felt (Luke 24:36-43).
This stained glass window is my photograph of "Christ in Mandorla," designed by Charles J. Connick Associates of Boston around 1920. (Mr. Connick was one of America's best stained glass artists and sought to revive medieval stained glass styles from 13th century France.) The window was in the First Methodist Episcopal Church, 575 Washington Avenue, Gary, Indiana, which was abandoned and later destroyed in the late 1980s. I'm grateful this window was preserved. I photographed it in the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows in downtown Chicago, an 800-foot-long series of galleries in Navy Pier's Festival Hall. It's a great place and admission is free.
The term "Mandorla" refers to the almond-shaped intersection of two circles representing heaven and earth. He stands there as the Intercessor between both.
Posted by Jeff Lindsay at 10:04 PM