To sum it up, Christ is the image. We are not the image. We are made according to the image of God (Christ). The image of God is not damaged or distorted, but our humanity is distorted by sin. In Christ, our humanity is restored by his grace, aimed at his glory and resurrected by his power. And under this point, we are free to proclaim that every human being, of every gender and every race and every social class—the healthy, the dying, the unborn and the disabled—every person has been crowned with indisputable dignity from the hand of the Creator. It is a solemn, imperial veneration to have been made according to the incarnate Christ.
And yet it’s all very tragic, when we see what sin has done to our humanity and how it has distorted us into people who misuse and abuse and dismiss others in anger. The dignity of man opens the door for us to preach the good news: Because we have been made in the image of Christ, every human being also has a glorious intended destiny in Christ. To turn away from him is the greatest human tragedy in the chronicles of this creation story. To trust in Christ—to be united to him—is the fulfillment of our human nature.
So we pull together, in faith, to proclaim the true dignity of man. All of us have been graced with the prestige of being made according to God’s image. Into the race-torn fabric of our society, this is the message our culture desperately needs from us as we go forward in proclaiming the grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ.