There is nothing higher in the universe than humanity, for God’s Word portrays our proper significance. The creation account indeed is structured in ascending order of importance, but the creation of mankind is not ultimate. It is penultimate. We can’t stop on the sixth day. We must go to the seventh day and see that the goal of creation is Sabbath holiness to the glory of God.
And it all culminates with Christ: “. . . all things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16). That includes people. God uniquely created mankind in His own image and after His own likeness.
Does being made in His likeness mean that God has a body—two legs, two arms, two eyes, and so on? No, not at all. We’re not the physical image of God. Of course people have minds and wills just as God does. But the main point of being made in the image of God is even greater. What is the purpose of an image but to mirror and reflect something other than itself? If we read the Old Testament carefully, we see that the goal of human life is to mirror and to reflect the very character of God.
God is holy, and we are to reflect that holiness so that this whole work of growing in sanctification is a growing in holiness. It is a growing within us—not only of redemption, but of movement toward the fulfillment and consummation of the very purpose of our creation. We were made to glorify God and to bear witness to the whole cosmos about His character. He demands of His people, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).
God has given us a transcendent sign of the goal of our redemption in the very institution of the Sabbath day. Therefore, make it a practice every Sabbath to think about why it exists. Ask yourself, “What is this rest toward which my heart yearns?” The Sabbath points to the day when God will remove all our restlessness and when He will welcome us into His eternal rest. We will see Him as He is. We will be holy and blameless in His sight. We will praise Him for all eternity.
What does it mean to be made in the image of God? In what ways do you want your life to reflect the character of God?