If you come into my office, you’ll see this poster, which I’m holding before you now. It’s called “New Testament: The Word . . . Made Flesh.” What you see is a fairly standard depiction of Jesus, with the light of Heaven shining down on him, and surrounded by angels, cherubs actually. I’m not wild about the cherubs in the image; in fact, the drawing itself isn’t that great as far as Jesus artwork goes. There are a lot of other Jesus paintings I like better, but I like this poster for more than just the image. The artist conveys a message in the image, but to see it, you have to take a closer look.
As you lean in to look at it, you begin to see the texture of the drawing, that it’s kind of grainy. If it were a photograph, we’d call it pixelated and full of noise. It’s still a better drawing than I could ever do, so I’m not complaining. But to see the true identity of this image, we have to get closer yet.
To really see what this is, what the reality of it is, we have to zoom in very closely, and we see not only an image of Jesus, but the entire New Testament, handwritten, line by line, in such a way as to create the details of the image. This part, in case you can’t tell, is zoomed in on Jesus’ eyes. The text that is written across this section is from the gospel of Luke. The print is so small that each millimeter, from top to bottom, contains about 3 lines of text.
There’s a message in the image: the New Testament is all about Jesus. To appreciate the big picture, we had to zoom in to individual words from the New Testament. That’s what I’m going to do with my newest sermon series. Title of this sermon series is “Identity.” I’m going to show that our identities as followers of Christ are really composite images, made up of more than just the image you see in the mirror. In terms of your faith, you look at yourself, and you see a Christian. But to get the whole story, we have to zoom in. Zooming in on specific words and phrases of the NT will reveal that your identity is composed of many wonderful truths revealed to us in the pages of Scripture.
Here are some of the words we will focus on: Holy, Redeemed, Saved, Dearly Loved, Sanctified, Citizens, Believers, Royal Priesthood, Chosen People, Baptized, New Creation, Ambassadors, Family, Children, Heirs, Servant.