Friday, September 8, 2006

What Jesus looks like

Published September 8, 2006


What Jesus looks like


Pope Benedict last week visited Veronica's Veil, which some Christians say was used to wipe the blood and sweat off of Jesus' face on his way to his crucifixion. It was a pope's first visit to the shrine in Manoppello, Italy, where the veil is said to bear the true likeness of Christ's face — a likeness that reportedly resembles the likeness on the Shroud of Turin. The pope stopped short of endorsing the image as that of Christ.But do you believe this likeness and others, like the shroud, are true depictions of Christ? What are your thoughts on what Christ looked like?


Jesus had long hair, a beard and eyes that pulled you in. He had soft but strong features; handsome but not seductive and he donned a perpetual look of contentment. At least, that's how Hollywood has presented him to us and that Jesus has found his way into many of our churches.

A quick glance at the ethnic churches will paint a bit different picture. In our Armenian Church, his eyebrows and beard may be a bit more pronounced. In the African church his coloring is much darker, just as he's much fairer on the walls of a Russian church. And the beauty of all the art is that each of these depictions is an exact rendering of Jesus.

According to our faith, Jesus is God personified, that is, Love incarnate.

Love does not have a face, but a heart. It is in the expressions of the heart, through helping, caring, healing and living that we witness God. And that is what Jesus looks like.

For 2,000 years, people have been picking up cloths, veils and other objects trying to identify the Christ. And I imagine the search for a connection to the historical Jesus will continue. The real search begins by looking within and seeing the image of Christ etched on our hearts waiting to be released in our love and care for others.

Armenian Church
In His Shoes Ministries

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