God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Genesis 1:27a)
According to the Strong’s Concordance the word “image” used in this verse comes from a word that means to shade, a phantom, i.e. illusion, resemblance; hence, a representative figure, espec. and idol:–image, vain shew.
When I think of an idol I think of something either a bird, animal or some sort of symbol that is used to represent a spirit being or a god. The point isn’t the idol so much as the being or force that lies behind it. If this is an accurate description this verse means we were meant to be God’s representative on earth and if someone looks at us they should sense the presence of His Spirit. We were created to show others, whether it be another human or some heavenly being, what God is like.
If this sounds too fantastic check out what Ephesians 3 tells us. Paul said, “To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.” Wow! That’s it! God wants us to be the means by which he reveals himself to the watching universe.
In 1 Peter we read something very similar which tells us the prophets in the past prophesied of the grace that was to come through the sufferings of Christ. “It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things into which angels long to look.” You see God created man higher than the angels, and it was the fall that caused us to lose the original glory and image of God but in Christ it is restored. So much so the angels are even straining their necks to look into what it’s all about.
In Romans eight we’re told that the whole of creation is groaning and longing for the sons of God to be revealed. You see God’s plan to have us as his representative hasn’t been thwarted. In fact I would say it’s right on track, and although at this moment things seem to be wrong, according to the scriptures “our present sufferings cannot be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us.”