Beauty That Does Not Fade!

Written By: Chris Mace

Beauty That Does Not Fade!
Pond Lilies, Stonington, Maine

We think of beauty as a quality of someone or something that visually pleases us. Whether or not beauty is intrinsic to something, the saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” implies that beauty is subject to personal aesthetics, appreciations, preferences or interests. That allows certain intangibles such as music or a person’s character to be considered “beautiful.”

In his country ballad, “I saw God today,” George Strait sings, “His fingerprints are everywhere” including in the beauty of a flower, the love of a couple strolling by holding hands, and in the face of his new born baby. But he realizes, “I’ve been to church\ I’ve read the book\ I know he’s there\ but I don’t look\ near as often as I should\ yeah, I know I should,”

Although “The heavens declare the glory of God” and creation reveals His “eternal power and divine nature,” the wonders of God’s character are ‘seen” within the pages of Scripture where the enormities of His love, grace, mercy, power, and purposes are on display. And when we meditate on Jesus, we discover his pure, magnificent nature, and the Kingdom of Heaven is brought close.

Isaiah paints considerable tension and irony between the horror and beauty of Jesus’ life in a dismal yet wonderful word picture of Jesus, the suffering Messiah. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 52:3-5)

We may prefer not to look at the suffering Savior or admit that we sent him to Calvary! However, could anything be more beautiful than mercy, compassion, and selflessness? Can we who are of deceptive, wicked hearts save ourselves? How can we deny the old rugged cross? We must look at that cross…at the tortured, bruised, battered, innocent pathetic figure suffering, hanging there agonizing for us. There he has freed us from condemnation and eternal death when we believe.

Someone has said, “We look at the cross and see anguish, pain, and Jesus being crushed under the weight of the sins of multiplied billions of men and women. But Jesus sees the cross as bringing glory to the Father on earth. It is the glory of the Son’s obedience and the Father’s divine love that brings redemption to humanity, but at a staggering cost.”

The beauty of Jesus doesn’t end at the cross or even the morning he stepped out of the tomb in glorious resurrection. That first Easter morning cinched the bright hope that he is “the resurrection and the life.” Therein lies the awesome promise—even though we die a physical death, we will never die if we trust in his sacrifice for our sins.

The beauty continues. Trusting and loving Jesus transforms lives with meaning and purpose. The words of an old hymn express that possibility: “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me\all his compassion and purity\O Thou Spirit Devine\All my nature refine\’til the beauty of Jesus is seen in me.” (1916, Arthur Osborne, General in the Salvation Army)

That is ongoing, progressive, unending beauty!


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