There is no one more beautiful in heaven or on earth than Jesus. He is the very radiance of the glory of God, the creator and originator of all light and glory. Things that are beautiful reflect His image in some way; everything that does not is either ugly or false.
And yet, contrary to all human expectation, Jesus’ outward appearance was not beautiful. When He was born there was no halo crowning His head, nor was He particularly handsome or attractive:
“He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”
Idols are adorned with silver and gold so that they will move our hearts to worship. But Jesus had no such ornamentation. He was despised and rejected by almost all who knew Him in favor of those who appeared righteous. And we are no better. We too despise and reject the unadorned Jesus, casting Him aside in favor of more handsome and attractive saviors.
“As one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
We are so enamored by the superficial that we sentenced beauty to die on the cross. The most lovely, most glorious One was made incomprehensibly horrible and ugly. Our sin disfigured Him beyond recognition:
“His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of the children of mankind.”
But His is the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. His is the power of a life so indestructible that it transforms our deepest ugliness into scenes of heavenly glory. The marks of His passion display the glory of a love so deep that it bled and died for us. In the cross we now see compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and glimpses of a new creation that shines with unimaginable splendor.
Thank you, Lord, that You are beauty. Help me to see beyond how things appear, and to allow my heart to be captivated by You. Help me to see Your beauty in all that is good and pleasing, and to resist all that is outwardly pleasing but inwardly full of bones and filth. Give me a wise and discerning heart in all this things, for only You can show me what is truly beautiful!
“The Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”