Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”—Genesis 1:26-28 (ESV)
You’ve heard the saying “big things come in small packages.” This is so true of these three verses that summarize the work of God in the Bible’s first chapter. There is no way to completely unpack these verses in the space we have here. But let’s talk about this: God is relational, and we’re created in His image for relationship.
Do you see the “us” and “our” in the passage? According to theologians explaining the doctrine of the Trinity, this sentence describes the essence of our Creator as “being in communion.” It’s a description of God the Father in relationship with God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Details in Genesis 2:18 speak of a need for relationship in the creation of the first man and woman. This verse states, “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him’” (ESV). The man is incomplete without the woman, because we are created to be in relationship, both with God and with one another.
In the third chapter, tragedy strikes. In an attempt to take their destinies into their own hands, the man and woman rebel against God and disobey the one rule that keeps their relationship with God (and as we learn, with each other) intact. Relationships have been broken ever since.
Since that day, God has been the initiator of a project that brings people back into relationship with Him and with each other through Jesus. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we see God taking the initiative to seek us out, repair our relationships, and then include us in bringing the people around us into relationship with Him, too.