In my office at work I have a little deck of angel cards with uplifting or encouraging words on them. I always keep three of those angel-word cards next to my computer monitor to brighten my day. When I change them, I always pull three new cards, for Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Today I decided I needed some new words on my desk, and here is what I randomly chose from the deck:
What wonderful words of comfort to make me smile because these are all things that come from God and exist in their perfect form in Christ.
The word “beauty” made me think of the beauty of God and all that He has created. “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” Psalms 27:4. But it also made me think of what Isaiah said about Jesus the Messiah in Isaiah 53:2-5.
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
Jesus the man was quite ordinary looking by Jewish standards. Although popular paintings and drawings of Him often portray Him as handsome and taller than the average Jew, there was in fact nothing particularly beautiful or attractive about His physical appearance. What makes Jesus the epitome of beauty are His grace and love. It is that “he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows” that makes Him so beautiful. Nothing in all the world — not all the jewels, not the Rocky Mountains, not a field of iris flowers, not all the stars in Hollywood — nothing is as beautiful as the willing sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our sins.
Jeremy Camp sings a song called “Beautiful One” that starts like this:
Wonderful, so wonderful
Is your unfailing love
Your cross has spoken mercy over me
No eye has seen no ear has heard
No heart could fully know
How glorious, how beautiful you are.
Beautiful one I love you
Beautiful one I adore
Beautiful one my soul must sing.
But where does “grace” fit in? The Apostle John wrote, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. His grace is one of the things that makes Jesus so beautiful to me. Grace is the unmerited or underserved favor that God shows to the sinner through the cross of Christ. That He would bestow that grace upon us is truly beautiful.
Then there is “love.” As Christians, we love and adore Jesus because of His great love for us. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” 1 John 3:16. Without knowing the loving sacrifice of our Savior, we would not even begin to fathom the potential depth and breadth of true love. It is by understanding His love that we learn to truly love others, to care about even those who ridicule and scorn us. And the beauty of Christ shines in us when we show true love to those around us without expecting anything in return.
Words of comfort: Beauty, Grace, and Love. Have you found the perfect beauty, grace, and love of God in Christ Jesus? They are worth searching for.