Images of Jesus



ceremony of consecration church at the Cossack festival in Moscow. Church attributes: crucifix trikiri, yellow robes of priests. Image of a cross, which was crucified, Jesus Christ, main and compulsory symbol of the Christian religion. The hallmark of the usual Catholic Crucifix after XII-XIII century are crossbones and one nail pierced both feet of Christ. In the Orthodox tradition the crucified Christ is represented on four nails: as hands and feet nailed to each their nail. Trikiri – accessory divine services in the Orthodox Church. appeared in liturgical use in the IV-V centuries. During the divine service trikiri bishop blesses praying people. three candles correspond to the three individuals of the Holy Trinity. Yellow color of clothes – universal color, the color of truth. How and yellow (gold) used clothing in divine services always, there is no need to use a different color of clothing.

How do you pray to Jesus
without seeing an image of Him?

I never see an image of Jesus when I pray. From my background as a Roman Catholic and one having a degree in fine arts, I’ve seen a lot of images of Jesus that men have painted, drawn, or sculpted–but none were true images. They were depictions of what artists have in their minds regarding what they think Jesus looked like. No matter how impressive any image may have been, it was nevertheless a false image.

I’ve been told by some Christians that having an image of Jesus in their mind helps them with their prayer life. It may seem to help, and I’m sure they are sincere, but their practice is neither practical nor biblical.

It’s impractical because the person is not praying to Jesus but rather to a false image of Him. It would be like having an artist draw a picture of someone I have phone conversations with–someone neither the artist nor I have ever seen.

Yet I declare that when I stare at the picture during my phone conversations, it makes me feel good about the person to whom I’m talking. That’s not only a delusion, it’s idolatry.

Conjuring up an image of Jesus in my mind–that is, a depiction of what He looked like, although I’ve never seen Him–is a form of idolatry. It is idolatry because Jesus Christ, the God Man, is being fashioned according to the mind of a fallen, finite human being. The result, no matter how helpful it may seem, would be both demeaning and degrading in comparison to the true, godly image of Christ.

For those who, when they pray, are bothered by man’s images of Jesus (seen in movies, paintings, statues, icons, etc.), I recommend meditating on verses that so glorify Jesus that one’s fleshly imagination will be put to shame and be delivered from such a distraction. For example: “[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (Colossians 1:15-19).

Any image of Jesus that falls short of those characteristics (which they all do to the extreme!) is “another Jesus,” a “false Christ,” of which Jesus declared there would be many in the last days.

The Berean Call, February 2009

Comments are closed.