The Bible is adamant that we not make idols (images or representations of God). The holiness of God is what’s behind the Bible’s strong prohibition against making idols (Exodus 20:4; Leviticus 26:1; Deuteronomy 27:15; Psalm 97:7). God is so completely other than (i.e., “holy”) the creation that nothing within it can contain Him. Trying to fit God into a statue would be like trying to be the Pacific Ocean in a twelve-ounce water bottle. The bottle cannot even come close to containing all the water of the Pacific!
Likewise, no created thing can come close to containing God. God is always more than anything shaped by human hands because he, unlike created things, has no limits. All created things and beings fall infinitely short of fully describing Him. Trying to “fit God” into something that is created (e.g., a statue or a human) would diminish Him. Idolatry, by necessity, diminishes the Triune God to something that He is not.
But why is it such a big deal that people do not make idols? The problem with idolatry is not in that a statue cannot contain God, the real problem is that an idol misrepresents Him. The prohibition against idolatry tells us that it is of critical importance that people understand that He is holy, different. God prohibits people from making idols because it’s important to Him that people know Him properly; that they don’t have the wrong idea of who He is. Anything less than the I Am is an imposter.
Jesus, however, is NOT an imposter when it comes to revealing God. Jesus said, “When you see me you have seen the Father (John 14:9). Hebrews 1 tells us that Jesus is the exact imprint of God’s very nature. The Apostle Paul tells us in Colossians that in Jesus the fullness of God was pleased to dwell (See Hebrews 1:3 and Colossians 2:9 NLT).
While this point that Jesus faithfully reveals God may be familiar to readers, I invite you to pause with me for a moment and think new thoughts around this divine mystery. God is so other, so holy, so infinite that nothing created can contain Him, not even the human mind. The question arises then, how can limited, created, finite beings like you and me possibly understand such a Being!? Moreover, how can I possibly know Him personally? Having a relationship with God would be like a chicken having a relationship with a human! The big question is, “Is God really knowable?” The answer is yes, because of Jesus. Jesus makes God knowable. When you’re with Jesus, you’re with God because Jesus is God as the second Person of the Holy Trinity. Do you want to know God? Know Jesus.
(Editor's Note: "God Has a Gift for You" that is the good news of how to know Jesus so He can restore the broken relationship we have with God because of our sin.)