Pure. Holy. Sinless. Perfect. No shame.

Wow. Just take a second and re-read those words. Whatever it’s talking about, it must be pretty great, huh? Maybe too good to believe?

This is what we were like, at the beginning of time. God made us completely in His image: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them…. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:27, 31). Every part of humanity was perfect–made in the likeness of God.  WE were perfect. And God was very pleased with this.

So then what happened? How did the image of ourselves and each other become so messed up?

Sin. Adam and Eve fell victim to the fake beauty that is sin. “The grass looked greener on the other side,” as the saying goes. But once they got there they realized it wasn’t greener at all. It was dirty, mean, and hurtful. Shameful, even. It is everything opposite of how God originally intended it to be when He created them in His image. This is the image we see and live in today.

Fortunately, the story doesn’t end there. Because of sin, we have lost the image of God. We have lost the righteousness, goodness, and holiness that He gave us. But God sent His son Jesus Christ to earth to live among this sin…and then to beat it. He beat it, and now we can be reconciled to God. Because of Jesus, we can now “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). We do not have to live constrained by our sinful ways, but instead through Christ, we live in His image. For, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).  Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection for our sins makes us righteous in the sight of God.