Finding Jesus

It was about ten years ago that a six-story statue of Jesus near Cincinnati was struck by lightning and destroyed. Having been formed with plastic foam and fiberglass on a steel frame,

the local landmark and tourist attraction quickly became a bizarre charred remnant of one church’s attempt to portray Jesus to a world which desperately needs Him.

But do people find Jesus through statues? Down through history mankind has made countless attempts to portray its gods and goddesses in some form or another, from crude miniature statues in Caanan to hieroglyphs in the pyramids to horrific carvings of Incan Peru or Mayan Mexico. Today we are as familiar with “Christ of the Andes” and “Christ of the Ozarks,” and “Christ the Redeemer” in Rio de Janeiro as with Buddha. But what does it all signify?

I’m guessing here, but maybe when people put up a statue of Jesus, or in some other way picture Him, they reason that it must be okay, since He is the “real” God. And so since He really exists, it must be good to picture Him as He once was, or one day will be, never mind that the idolaters of the past and present thought precisely the same.

What is more troubling is how they miss the clear injunction of the Ten Commandments:
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” Exodus 20:4(ESV).

Why would God say this? And why is it that He has not seen fit to preserve any true images of Jesus? Could it be that in some way the statue or picture, however well-intended, may actually interfere with our worship rather than focus or aid it?

When Jesus says, “Come to me,” He is not talking about places and geography. He is talking about truth and spirituality. He is not talking about a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, or Cincinnati, but a journey into the ultimate Reality, communicating with the God who is there because He is here and everywhere.

To find Jesus, you have only to stop looking to everything and everyone else. He is right in front of you, and has been all along. He came to seek and save those who were lost.

“God did this so that men would seek him, and perhaps reach out for him,
though he is not far from each one of us.”
Acts 17:27

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