“What is prescribed in this commandment? (Exodus 20:4-6)
God alone has the right to determine how He wants to be served. God must be worshiped and served in the way He Himself has commanded– that is, only according to His Word.
Nonetheless, there lingers deep in our soul the yearning to see God (Ex. 33:18).
Therefore, God says:
You will find no image of Me in any creature; that would dishonor Me. But if you want an image, take a look at Adam, at human beings, who are created in My likeness. Above all, look at the Son, the Image of the Invisible God, God’s One and Only Firstborn, God’s other I, the expression of His self-sufficiency.
Whoever sees Him sees the Father. As Christ is, so is God. He is the perfect likeness, the adequate Image.
Let us be satisfied with that. God may be venerated with no other image than the Son. Beholding Him and venerating Him, we are changed into His likeness (2 Cor. 3:18).
God wants, as it were, to multiply images of Himself, to see nothing but images, likenesses, portraits of Himself.
Human beings themselves must be God’s image, and not make pieces of wood or stone into God’s image. The new humanity in Christ, from all sides and everyone in their own way, reflects and mirrors God.
God is mirrored in us; we are mirrored in God. ‘When [Christ] appears, we shall be like Him [and like the Father] because we shall see Him as He is’ (1 John 3:2).
God makes images of Himself in us. But not we of God. God photographs Himself.”
–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Ethics, Volume 2: The Duties of the Christian Life, Ed. John Bolt (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2021), 2: 174-175.