BEAUTY OF CHRIST OUTSHINES ALL OTHER BEAUTIES
Naperville, the city I live in, is filled with beauty. There are beautiful people, beautiful homes, a beautiful Riverwalk. There are stores filled with beautiful clothes and barber shops and beauty salons to make your hair look beautiful.
But there is a beauty that outshines the beauty of Naperville, or any beautiful city (Edinburgh, Paris, etc), and this is the beauty of Christ. While he had no physical beauty that made others drawn to him (Is 53:2), his was the beauty of an “indestructible life” (Heb 7:16). His is the beauty of a life free from sin (Heb 4:15). His is the beauty of God who took on human nature (John 1:14) to save a people from death and eternal ruin.
The beauty of Christ is seen in his holy life. An honest assessment of our hearts and lives reveals much ugliness. We have lust, bitterness, envy, hatred, discontent, hardness, coldness, and deception. He had none of those things. He life was marked by holiness, purity, love, faithfulness, and compassion. He had kindness toward those the world said we should throw away (prostitutes, lepers). He spoke truth even in the face of the religious authorities who said he was demon-possessed. His life is incomparable to any of our lives or the lives of the greatest among us.
The beauty of Christ is seen also in his ministry. He fulfilled the ministry of the promised Messiah who would set us free and bring beauty and life back into our lives (Isaiah 61:1-3). He brings his people into a glorious kingdom that lasts forever. He beckons us to turn from our sin and enter in. He shows that his words and deeds match, as he laid down his life in love for (John 3:16).
We can see the beauty of Christ today. We see it in lives that come under his lordship. Jesus turns our ugly hearts into reborn new creations. He transforms our gross approach to others into ways that pure and good and full of love and integrity. He fills us with the Holy Spirit who empowers us to die to our addiction to what is profane and grotesque. He washes us clean and makes us children of God destined to enjoy the beauty of God and the beauty of God’s Kingdom forever (Rev 21:1-3).