The color of umber is brown. Not a dark brown but not exactly “paper sack tan” either. Truthfully it is like a lightly roasted coffee in color. Why am I bringing this up on this blog? Because there are discussions and arguments arising about the way that Jesus is portrayed in paintings and in our culture.
Some say that He should be portrayed as white, others say that He is black, actually He is neither one. Jesus was born Hebrew as a Jewish Israelite. If you have ever met someone from Israel you notice that they have skin tones which have an olive complexion. What does that mean? It means that their skin will tan easily in the sun.
Our Savior did a lot of walking throughout Judea in His lifetime, therefore He most likely was very dark-skinned where the sun struck Him. His face, arms, feet, and lower legs were likely very dark. The depiction of Him being white by artists who painted Him or otherwise portrayed Him is a nod to the culture of their day, racist though that may have been.
Our ancestors, the ones who began all of this in Eden, were very olive-skinned so that when their offspring came about a myriad of skin colors and complexions would be genetically possible. God knew then and He knows now exactly what He is doing genetically in this world. He is also giving us the ability to choose our spiritual pathway in our lives and He has been doing this from the start.
God doesn’t care if your skin color is dark or light, olive or even very darkly pigmented, He cares about your soul…your inner man. That is the part of you that lives on into eternity and your culture, your “skin tone” will likely be in eternity as well so we will all be able to see who we really are or were in our previous life on Earth. No one will lose their identity after death. Jesus spoke of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob being alive in eternity and our names and all that we have done in the service of God will follow us into eternity too.
Living here in this life is far different from what we will see or know in Heaven and for those who won’t give their hearts to Jesus, their eternity will be a true living hell. The descriptions of hell are varied but the regrets and the separation from God’s love and all that we have known in this life will be with us through eternity. The color of your skin, your culture, your lifestyle or how much money you had on Earth will mean NOTHING!
I was given a very tiny glimpse into heaven once and the gold streets are pure enough to shine like the Sun and the gold is like glass. Some of the buildings are made of a substance like opals only more pure and clear with walls a cubit or more thick. They reflect God’s glory with all of the colors imaginable but a description would not do them justice at all.
The descriptions found in the Bible are man’s attempt at describing things which our minds can’t comprehend fully, so I can’t either. Race doesn’t mean anything in the end. We are all God’s children and all of us are descended from Adam and Eve, since God cannot lie I don’t understand why we deny that we are all related.