Posted: 8/15/15 at 8:00am. Column by Ed Jordan.
Most of us have our memories unleashed when we hear the words: “Magic mirror, on the wall; who’s the fairest of them all?” This was the request given to a magic mirror by the evil Queen in Snow White. The mirror revealed that while the Queen had beauty, she was no match for the beauty of Snow White.
When the queen heard this answer, she flew into a rage, followed by the desire to kill Snow White. We know that this is a classic fairytale, pictured vividly in film by Walt Disney Studios. But is there more to the story?
Are there real magic mirrors? My daughter recently sent me a documentary found on YouTube. Nestled within this very interesting documentary is a section that discusses a modern technological machine that has been developed by a Japanese microchip manufacturer.
The modern machine is called the Magic Mirror. It was created because the silicon wafers, from which computer chips are made, cannot have any flaws or areas of distortion on their surface if they are to work accurately.
With the Magic Mirror technology it is possible to detect irregularities on a silicon wafer that are as small as two to three nanometers. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter. In order to develop this wondrous Magic Mirror, the Japanese scientists utilized the concept of magic mirrors which were created in Japan, and used by Christians in Japan in the 16th century.
In 16th Century Japan it was illegal to be a Christian. Christianity was portrayed by Japan’s rulers as foreign to Japan’s culture, and as a threat to those in power who wished to control their people. At this time Christianity was growing in Japan, and the rulers perceived that Christianity gave people freedom, and concluded that independent people would be more difficult to dominate. Thus they declared that when someone was found to be a Christian they would be put to death.
So at this time, some Christian developed the magic mirrors which when looked into directly would only reflect back the image of the person looking into the mirror. However, when a white light was shown onto the mirror at a slight angle, the light projected onto the wall would transmit the image of Jesus Christ, hanging upon the cross.
Thus Christians could use their mirror as a tool to help them see Christ whenever the light reflected off the mirror onto a flat object like a wall. Reflecting the image of Christ onto the wall also allowed Christians to identify each other as Christians.
The process that ancient Christians used to get an image of Christ to appear in the reflected light is a very complicated one. Basically the image of Christ is molded as a very fine elevated area rising from the backside the copper plate used for the mirror. Then the copper is scraped and polished by hand by a master mirror-maker, a process which takes over three months per mirror.
In the finished product, one cannot see nor feel the image embedded into the foundation of the mirror. The image only comes out as a reflection when light is shone onto the mirror and reflected onto a smooth surface.
In 2 Corinthians 3, Christians are described as having the message and image of Christ written upon our hearts. Our encounter with Christ leaves His image deep within our lives, and every time we have a fresh encounter with Jesus, the image of Christ within us gets clearer to us, and to other people who are looking at our lives.
Christians become magic mirrors that reflect the image and reality of Jesus to other people. As they look at our lives, they see the light of God reflecting the person, glory and image of Christ, who has become embedded into the foundation of our being deep within us.
In 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT) we read: “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.”
So there really are magic mirrors today. Magic mirrors are Christians who have the image of Christ etched deeply into our lives, and who reflect the person and reality of Jesus onto others whenever the light of God shines across our lives.
Who do you reflect in your dealings with others? Do they see only you? Or do they see a reflection of Jesus, who loved us and gave Himself to die in our place upon the cross, and who comes to live within our lives via God’s Holy Spirit? Are you a magic mirror?