Who Created The Image of Jesus?
Ever wonder how we came up with the image of what Jesus looks like? Possibly the most famous picture in the world, the picture of Jesus was created and drawn by Warner Sallman. In 1924 the Art Institute of Chicago graduate created the image we all know today to be a picture of Jesus Christ. It is currently on exhibit at the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton College.
Warner was a volunteer for a youth magazine for the church and was asked to come up with something for the February issue. He claimed to have fallen asleep and then a vision of Jesus Christ came to him in a dream. Upon awakening, he drew the image of Jesus and called it “Son of man”. It was first drawn in charcoal and later as an oil painting on canvas with a white background. He redrew the photo in 1940 as he depicted Jesus illuminated over a brown background and he titled it “Head of Christ”.
And that’s how the image of Jesus was created.
No doubt it’s wonderful to have a loving, kind face to imagine as we think about our heavenly father (be it accurate or not) who loves us so much. Do you think this is an accurate depiction of Jesus Christ? Share your thoughts below.
Author: Mike Cynar
Mike Cynar was raised in a church setting where he frequently noticed that many attendees would eventually drift away. The church labeled these individuals as ‘back sliders’ or ‘fake Christians’ just looking for ‘fire insurance’. However, Mike realized the issue was rarely with these individuals but instead with the church’s message itself. The teachings heavily emphasized behavior improvement and one’s flaws, with only a fleeting mention of one’s identity in Christ. It felt as though every sermon was tailored to the church of Corinth, who as we know or committing sins that even unbelievers don’t partake in. This trend was noticeable not just in one denomination, but across Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, and many other churches. Upon understanding the true essence of the gospel – that our righteousness comes from Jesus’ actions, not our own – Mike was inspired to liberate believers from lifeless sermons and reconnect them with the genuine teachings of Jesus. He believes that one can nurture a vibrant and growing bond with Jesus, unhindered by rigid religious practices. And thus, “Jesus Without Religion” was born.
It turns out that it is grace that leads to repentance. And if our heart is to get others to walk in the Spirit and live a godly life, then the best approach is not a beat down sermon, but rather to remind other that it is only when we understand our true identity in Christ that we will live it out. Yes, it’s true, if you’re convinced that God thinks you’re a dirty sinner, you will ultimately continue a lifestyle that mirrors that view, but if you truly believe that even on your worst day, you are called holy, sanctified, justified, and will be presented blameless in the end, well, it turns out this is the secret to living out on the outside what has been worked in to the inside.