The Parish of Sandal Magna

Images & Symbols in the Bible

The Bible is a vivid portrait of our relationship with God preserved in writing. It is revered and studied as the Word of God, a revelation of his purposes for the world which he loves, and which through his Son Jesus he has redeemed. Through storytelling and poetry written by a variety of people, and through a deep reservoir of images and symbols, this revelation speaks to us today with renewed urgency and truth.
The Bible is a treasure trove of some 240 images, which weave through the stories like the coloured threads in a tapestry. They include everything from anchor and ants to yeast and yoke. Consider the meaning of these images in Isaiah 42 verse 3: "A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out."
Images are memorable and appeal to our imaginations. They often have layers of meaning and symbolic power to embody a profound idea. Think of the power of the image of bread, when Jesus says: 
"I am the bread of life", referring to the manna from heaven, the nourishment of his teaching, the breaking of bread at the last supper, and the breaking of his body on the cross. The symbolism of bread and wine recall his sacrifice whenever we celebrate Holy Communion. Jesus set us a good example through his memorable use of images, parables and symbolic actions.
When we dedicated the Tree of Life in 2014, there was a short sermon series on the images in Revelation 21 of Tree, River, Throne and City. We have also preached many times on the familiar images of bread, wine, seed, and the wind of the Holy Spirit. So in this series we are going to focus on some of the other images and symbols. There will be images from nature such as garden, birds, rock; images from human nature such as face and hand; images from human making such as clay jar, oil, tent, road. These images are drawn from common experience and yet can speak to us of the eternal truth that is in Christ Jesus.


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© Sandal Magna PCC 2016.
Registered Charity Number 1131795.


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