Re-imaging

God created man in His image.  His original command to His image was, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28).  Man fell from this purpose.  God’s image in man was marred.  As a result, man multiplied his own image and likeness (Gen. 5:3).  

Man’s image filled the earth.  All things were filled with the wickedness of that image–the fallen god.  God was grieved.  When God created the world He gave plants and animals the ability to bring forth after their kinds (Gen. 1:11, 12, 21, 24).  But there was none according to God’s kind.  So He made man in His image as His kind.  When man fell, God’s image was distorted; man was no longer God’s kind; he was his own kind, mankind.  God was left alone and heartbroken.  His creation, intended to reflect Him, was filled with a perversion of His image.  For the sake of all things, this could not continue.  God brought the flood to wipe this fallen image from the earth.  Nothing survived but Noah’s family and the animals they brought on the ark.

After the flood, God restated His original command to Noah: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen. 9:1).  God’s statement indicates His image was restored.  Why would God bless and multiply that fallen image of Himself that so grieved Him, that He had just destroyed with a flood?  God would only utter this command to His true image.

Later on in God’s exposition of this new covenant, He says, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, his blood will be shed by man, for God made man in His image” (Gen. 9:6).  So God here affirms that man is again in His image.  There is a difference this time, however.  In the case of Noah, God’s image was not established through primary creation.  It was established through the flood; through the destruction of what was godless; through redemption from that destruction.  Here we see God’s image born again in man through the waters of divine judgment.

Peter tells us Noah’s ark was a figure of Christ’s death and resurrection (1 Peter 3:21).  When Jesus died, all died (2 Cor. 5:14).  The cross was the true flood, wiping God’s fallen image from the face of the earth.  Colossians 1:15 says Christ is the image of the invisible God–God’s image restored, redeemed from destruction, born again in man.  This is the new covenant foreshadowed by God’s covenant with Noah.  The account of Noah dramatizes the work of the cross for us.  It shows us how God brought us back to His image within: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).

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