There’s an article floating around the internet from the magazine Popular Mechanics with the “real face of Jesus.” It’s a nifty read on how a face of Jesus was recreated and what he could have looked like. Anthropologists and a top-notch medical scientist took a skull from a first century Galilean man and used that skull to overlay how muscle tissue and his skin would have looked. This gave us the shape of his face. Then first century depictions of Galileans were used to determine skin, hair, and eye color, and scripture was used to fill in the things that the skull couldn’t reveal such as hair length. Since Judas had to identify Jesus with a kiss standing in the garden of Gethsemane, he must have looked pretty much like everyone else that he lived, worked, and preached around. Therefore – this face was created.
Now – I know this is not the face of Jesus. It’s based off a skull that they found of a first century Galilean man who Jesus would have resembled. Therefore, I probably won’t put a picture of this guy in my office, nor will I plaster it above the altar in our sanctuary. However, what I do like about this picture and this article is that it provides a human face for Jesus. There is no halo or floating orb around him. He is the same height as everyone and not a head taller, and he isn’t wearing a bright blue sash. It’s different than all those renderings by those European medieval artists who depicted Jesus as holier-than-thou. In this image, Jesus looks just like another average Joe.
So my wonderment for you is, “how human was Jesus to you?” What does it mean to you that your God became just like everyone else – not a head taller or with a blue sash or with a halo – but just like everyone else?
…And that’s what’s we get to celebrate in Christmas…