Given the arts and their depictions of Jesus, it’s no wonder that Lord is not more favorably seen by the church as the Ancient of Days, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, or the God of Psalms 2 and 3 (for instance). The Lord Jesus is too often depicted as a defeated suffering servant who deserves our pity and needs our help than as the King of Glory.
Many Christians believe that the second commandment has always only been against making an image of God and using it as a worship aid, like Roman Catholicism promotes in practice. (The Eastern Church’s icons are usually up for grabs.) A growing number of Protestants who avoid crucifixes and such will say that the commandment is addressing carved images or possibly God’s divine nature but certainly not Jesus’ human nature acted out in a movie. Of course, these Protestants don’t adhere to WLC #109, which forbids under the Second Commandment “the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image…”
Are Christians taking in a Jesus film merely to get a glimpse of the Lord’s humanity, or are they looking to be spiritually edified by a visual depiction of the God-man? If they’re looking for spiritual edification, then the accompanying sin is that of false worship through the mediation of an image of Christ, which is forbidden under the second commandment. If the aim is not spiritual edification, then the pursuit is a vain thing and, therefore, forbidden under the third commandment. If the second commandment refers only to false gods and not the living God, then the second commandment collapses into the first commandment leaving us with nine commandments.
What I think is often overlooked is that Jesus’ personality is that of the Second Person of the Trinity and not just any human personality. God could not have given the incarnate Christ my personality for instance, and we reject adoptionism. No, the incarnate Christ has the personality of the eternal Son while being fully God and fully man. Added to this, an actor, no matter how good, cannot help but project something of his own personality (blended with a scripted personality) onto the screen. He cannot portray the personality of another perfectly – let alone the personality of the Second Person of the Trinity even approximately. Therefore, the actor who would dare play the Christ cannot but project a false image of God even if he sticks to the written script of Scripture. It’s not as though verbal tone and body language do not proceed from personality. In fact, the reverse is true. Reactions of persons convey ideas that are propositional in nature. These picture-words are being passed off as God’s communication.