I was watching TBN the other day (which I rarely do) and I saw this couple singing praises to the Lord. I don’t know who they were but they were on stage singing in front of the audience and their voices were so beautiful. There was a cross with Christ on it and blood on His side, like we’ve all seen many times before I’m sure.
I thought to myself ‘how nice, these people are really singing from the bottom of their hearts’. I thought that they are using their God-given gift of song to praise the Lord and I felt kinda warm and fuzzy inside. They were very animated in their expressions with their arms lifted up high, tears trickling down their faces and you could just tell they loved the Lord.
As I was sitting there enjoying their worshipful singing, suddenly I saw something very different. It’s like the image changed before my eyes and I saw what was REALLY happening. As they were singing, they were circling around the cross with Christ on it, touching Him, crying, and singing to Him…they were in fact worshipping an image of Jesus – an idol.
Ex 20:3,4 Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;thou shalt not bow down unto them, nor serve them; for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me;
Deut. 4:23 Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of anything, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee.
Leviticus 26:1 Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.
We are not to make an image that REPRESENTS God at all which includes pictures and statues. It is not limited to a golden calf. Ask yourself (if you have a picture of Jesus hanging around at your house) when you pray, do your eyes gravitate towards that picture? Be honest. I don’t think it’s something we normally think about because we don’t see it as worshipping a graven image but it is. Some people say they have it to remind them of what Jesus has done for them. But you don’t need a statue or an image to be reminded of what He did if you are walking in Spirit daily thus having Him on your heart always. You don’t need a visual of Jesus to capture your imaginations – the Bible says: He is the Light of the world (John 1:4-5); the very Bread of life (John 6:32-33); the living Water that quenches the thirst of our souls (John 4:14); the High Priest who intercedes for us with the Father (Hebrews 2:17); the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for us, His sheep (John 10:11,14); the spotless Lamb of God slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8), the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2); the Way, the Truth, the Life (John 14:6); and the very image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15).
I was amazed at how the show I was watching quickly changed after that realization of what was really happening. I went from happiness to horror in minutes.