Science wants to link us to apes, & the Holy Scriptures want to link us to God. Science therefore digs in the dirt, while the Word scans our souls. Christ highlights the search for the missing link when he said he came to “save that which was lost”. Different goals, different approaches. This post is meant to deal w/ 2 basic problems behind the problems we normally deal with. (By the way, it’s been pointed out that Genesis mentions the big 5: Time=”In the beginning”, Space= “the Heavens”, Matter=the Earth, Force=Spirit of God, Motion=moved. So we see that the Word touches on things that science & history have interest in, but it was not purposed nor designed to be a modern science or history book.)
I deal w/ individuals who are alienated from their self (quite common today), and like yest.’s post, I also deal w/ humans who are alienated from creation (our ecological environment). Both these problems have the same root condition—alienation from God…which happens to be the REAL missing link. Both alienations are a forsaking of our original dignity, and amazingly are situations that are discussed in the beginning of the God’s Word where He tells us that we were created in His image, and that we are masters over Creation to “work it & take care of it”. (GEN 1:27, 2:15) We are God’s representatives on earth, or to be more blunt “the divine on earth” (originally that is, obviously the image got tarnished). And it is clear God fellowshipped with His image daily, so the mutual love was part of the link.
We will examine how GEN 1:27 relates to our root problems today; it reads: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male & female created He them.” God creates life, yet when He creates man He does something new—He places Himself into His creation, He places His own image into creation. Now He can see Himself in His work. When man fails to be that image, fails to recognize that missing link where He came from, he no longer functions right. For instance, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man.” GEN 9:6.
The Word teaches us that God is both a spirit & a living person. Within that context, humanity is made in His image–everyone. There are a number of approaches that have been used to identify the various ways that we are made in His image. For instance, one is to look at what humans have beyond the remainder of Creation (like animals live by instinct), but there are other ways. I’ll simply cut to the chase & summarize how we are the image/likeness (the words are synonyms in Hebrew) of God: Our soul fills our body as His fills the universe. God sees but is not seen, just as our souls see but are not seen. God sustains the universe He fills, our souls animate our bodies. God’s thinking, His righteousness, His freedom of will, His holiness, His self-awareness/self-consciousness, and His kingship are all attributes that man also has had. Man’s holiness was lost by the first Adam…regained by the second Adam.(cf. 1 COR 15:45) The second Adam (Christ) restored man to his original relationship to God…the missing link is discovered! The mutual love story between Creator & created image is restored. We can open our hearts to Him…”put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the waters”! God, who is love, loves us!! Now man can continue to grow from glory to glory, like the first Adam was designed to do. And that fulfills the original design to love & glorify Him. The missing link, w/ its strands of love, holiness, fulfillment of who we are, has been the root problem.