Jesus was not a white guy with blue eyes and straight hair.
No mystery there.
But what did he actually look it? Could we see the real face of Jesus?
According to the prophet Isaiah, “He (Jesus) had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him” (Isa. 53:2)
Oh I absolutely worship, honor and believe in Jesus. He was all God and all man (and all awesome, all the time). It’s just that the “man” part was not that impressive. According to our standards, Jesus was probably just an average looking dude.
This image is now running wild through the internet. It’s being called “The Real Face Of Jesus.” Esquire reported, “An answer has emerged from an exciting new field of science: forensic anthropology. Using methods similar to those police have developed to solve crimes, British scientists, assisted by Israeli archeologists, have re-created what they believe is the most accurate image of the most famous face in human history.
Matthew’s description of the events in Gethsemane offers an obvious clue to the face of Jesus. It is clear that his features were typical of Galilean Semites of his era. And so the first step for Neave and his research team was to acquire skulls from near Jerusalem, the region where Jesus lived and preached. Semite skulls of this type had previously been found by Israeli archeology experts, who shared them with Neave.
With three well-preserved specimens from the time of Jesus in hand, Neave used computerized tomography to create X-ray “slices” of the skulls, thus revealing minute details about each one’s structure. Special computer programs then evaluated reams of information about known measurements of the thickness of soft tissue at key areas on human faces. This made it possible to re-create the muscles and skin overlying a representative Semite skull.
The entire process was accomplished using software that verified the results with anthropological data. From this data, the researchers built a digital 3D reconstruction of the face. Next, they created a cast of the skull. Layers of clay matching the thickness of facial tissues specified by the computer program were then applied, along with simulated skin. The nose, lips and eyelids were then modeled to follow the shape determined by the underlying muscles.”
So yes, God saved the George-Clooney-looks for George Clooney, the Brad-Pitt-charm for Brad Pitt and the Oprah-Winfrey-charisma for Oprah Winfrey.
Jesus was more 100% normal. Like you and me. And that was the plan all along!
To be a baby that needed breast-feeding, diaper changes and help with burping. To grow up as a boy, who had to make his bed, hit puberty, and deal with facial hair. This did not make him less God, it just made him more us. Jesus fully embraced the experience of humanity in order that we could fully embrace His reality of divinity. He became us the sinners, so we could become him, the righteous.
Check out this Jesus-is-a-human biblical list:
Born of a woman (Gal. 4:4)
Had a normal body of flesh and bones (Luke 24:39)
Grew up as a boy (Luke 2:52)
Had family issues (Matt. 13:54–58; Mark 6:3; 1 Cor. 9:5)
Obeyed his parents (Luke 2:51)
Worshiped God (Luke 4:16) and prayed (Mark 1:35; 6:46)
Worked as a carpenter (Mark 6:3)
Got hungry (Matt. 4:2; 21:18) and thirsty (John 4:7; 19:28)
Asked for information (Mark 9:16–21; John 11:34; 18:34)
Was stressed (John 13:21)
Was astonished (Mark 6:6; Luke 7:9)
Was happy (Luke 10:21-24; John 15:11; 17:13; Heb.12:2, 22)
Told jokes (Matt. 7:6; 23:24; Mark 4:21)
Had compassion (Mark 1:41; Luke 7:13)
Had male and female friends he loved (John 11:3-5)
Gave encouraging compliments (Mark 12:41–44)
Loved children (Mat. 19:13–15)
Celebrated holidays (Luke 2:41)
Went to parties (Matt. 11:19)
Loved his mom (John 19:26–27)
Cried his eyes out (John 11:35)
This unexplainable statement, “The Word became flesh” is called The Incarnation. It is an Orthodox Christian belief which declares that the second person of the Trinity, God the Son, took a human body by being conceived in the womb of Mary. There, divine nature was united (not mixed) with human nature, in the one person: Jesus Christ.
We celebrate the baby in the manger because he can be the bridge between God and us. For he alone, is fully God and fully us. And he is the only one able to perfectly represent both God to mankind and mankind to God. (So Merry Christmas!)
But like us, the early church had massive issues with both the divinity and the humanity of Jesus. One camp could not comprehend how this humble Carpenter’s son from Nazareth could be God. They knew of the human-Jesus so they struggled with the God-Jesus:
“How can a man born in the little town of Bethlehem be God himself?” Sent from God maybe, but God-God? No way José!”
The other camp was so amazed by his divinity that they could not understand his humanity:
“How could this incredible messiah, prophet, healer, saviour be as human as we are?” He must be a spirit or an apparition that looks human.
The truth is that Jesus neither laid aside His deity when He came to earth nor His humanity when he returned to heaven.
In life and death, Jesus took a human body to save our bodies. And he took a human mind to save our minds. Without becoming man in his emotions, he could not have saved our emotions. And without taking a human will, he could not save our will. In the words of Gregory of Nazianzus,
“That which he has not assumed he has not healed.”
Therefore, he had to be made like his brothers in every way. This was so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God, in order to wipe away the sins of the people. Hebrews 2:17
Yes, Jesus is God. Always one with the Father and the Spirit. Yes, he did incredible miracles, signs and wonders in Galilee. And yes, he is now glorified and looking sensational as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But in love, he made himself one with us. One with our crap. One with our issues. One with our pain. One with our average-ness.
He became flesh so your fleshy life could be hidden in His perfection. And there is nothing average about that!
This is why Christmas is such a big deal. This is why it’s so important to remember His birth, and life, and death, and resurrection. Because He did it as us.
And He did it for us.
Maybe he did looked like that picture above. But what I know for a fact, is that he looks at us with mercy and compassion and kindness and love.
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