The beauty of Christ

Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him (Isaiah 53:1-3 ESV).

Beauty is attractive. There was “not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than [Saul]” (1 Samuel 9:2). It was likely that Saul’s looks and height made him appealing to the people as king. But his character failings were why he was rejected as king.

Isaiah’s prophecy of the Messiah is the clearest description we have of the physical appearance of Jesus. This prophecy informs us that Jesus had “no beauty that we should desire him.” God did not want people drawn to Jesus for superficial reasons like with Saul.

God is beautiful (Psalm 27:4). Jesus is the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). Therefore, we know that Jesus himself is beautiful. But if it is not physical beauty, it must be the beauty of character. As Peter said the “beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4).

When was the last time that you sang the words, “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me”? For me it was last evening. It is one of my favorite songs. What is it about Jesus that makes him beautiful?

While we could spend our lives describing the beauty of Jesus (see John 21:25), I want to suggest four simple reasons.

He was humble

We should be drawn to Jesus because of his humility. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:29 NET). Even though many seem to be attracted to prideful boasting, the humility of Jesus calls to us.

He loved the unlovable

Jesus reached out and touched the untouchable (Matthew 8:3). He lifted up the rejects of society. Some of his disciples were uneducated fishermen, and one was a shunned tax-collector. Jesus loved even his enemies, and taught us to do the same (Matthew 5:38-48). We should be ever thankful that Jesus loves the unlovable, for that is us.

He was forgiving

Jesus gave himself (John 10:10-18). He placed himself upon the cross. As the crowd cheered his death, Jesus prayed that they might have forgiveness (Luke 23:34). The crucified Savior prayed for them and he prayed for you. Stephen’s last words echoed those of the Lord (Acts 7:60). Paul heard that cry for forgiveness. Later, he proclaimed the faith that Jesus died to establish and that Stephen died to promote. That is beautiful.

He was courageous

Courage does not mean an absence of fear. It is deciding that something else is more important than fear. On the night of betrayal, Jesus was in agony in the garden (Luke 22:44). Yet, he had already determined that he was going to the cross (Matthew 16:21-26). Jesus’ courage saved us from death. His self-sacrifice stands forever as a memorial for us.

Yes, Jesus is beautiful. Praise him. Be drawn to him. Emulate him.

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