For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9
Yesterday we looked at the above scripture and discussed that the King of Kings became physically poor for our sakes. And he did not leave it at that. He left part of His glory and His beauty, as well. When we read about Jesus in heaven, this is what we find:
On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet … I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
When we read about Jesus on earth, we find this:
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Of course, there were a few on the earth that recognized His beauty and His glory. The Three Wise men did, Mary and Joseph did, Peter did, John did, Mary Magdeline did. But would I have? I don’t know. I hope so. But even now, sometimes I don’t recognize Him in my life and I KNOW who He is.
I, like many, like to watch the X Factor on TV. There is a version of X Factor that takes place in England and I recently saw the clip from You Tube. A man walked cautiously on the stage. He was dressed shabbily and plainly. He came with his mother, who seemed to be his only support. He was shaking as he took the microphone. My expectation was not very high, I assure you. But then he opened his mouth, and what came forth was pure beauty. A voice that was so unexpected, so powerful. The camera scanned the crowd and people literally had their mouths wide open in surprise. The skeptical look on Simon’s face slowly turned to a smile of realization. The man can sing! Amazing!
When I saw the video I cried. For some reason, it reminded me of Jesus. Only a select few recognized His greatness. He didn’t look like what was expected. There was nothing in the setting of His Birth that revealed to the world Who He was and What He could and would do.
When Jesus was born, most people did not recognize the glorious, beautiful event that had taken place. People still do not recognize Him. This season, let’s open our eyes. Let’s look for Him. Let’s remember how glorious and beautiful He is. Let’s remember that He came to make something glorious and beautiful of us.
Update: Yesterday, I watched my beautiful niece come down the aisle in a long, white dress. The day had finally come! All the planning and dreaming and working had culminated in this glorious moment–she was finally meeting her groom at the altar. A beautiful life awaits them. I am reminded that we, the Church, all believers, are the bride of Christ. One day soon we will finally see him face to face. The waiting will be over and we will experience joy like never before. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!