Written By: Chris Mace

Butterfly on Coneflower, Ellsworth, Maine

Maybe it’s a butterfly on a tangerine cone flower or an expansive, breathtaking vista. It might be minuscule and cellular or cosmic and grand; simple and stark or intricate and complex; lovely and serene or loud and boisterous; man made or God created. It might be a song, a symphony, a discovery, or an idea. Something about it captivates your mind and evokes an emotional response. Whether it’s a startling, “stop in your tracks” moment of astonishing clarity, a gradual dawning of discovery, a long contemplative pause, or a curious wonderment, a “behold” encounter may be more felt and soul moving than well articulated! Whether surprised, amazed, stunned, astonished, taken aback, just curious, or having a “eureka” moment, there is an overwhelming sense of something larger than words, something note worthy enough to halt and appreciate its beauty, magnificence, exquisiteness, quirkiness, or genius.

Depending on which Bible translation, there are more than 1000 “beholds” recorded in scripture. The prophet Isaiah had one of these moments while considering the amazing complexity of God’s goodness and justice, His mighty power, His tender Shepherd’s heart, His sovereign reign over creation, and His wisdom. Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel?” (Isaiah 40:10-13 (ESV)

John the Baptist made a startlingly short but profound pronouncement as he saw Jesus coming toward him: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) Could there have been a more monumental “behold”, a more impactful truth than that to share? Look! Pause! Consider! The Redeemer for all all people everywhere is walking by!

John, the Apostle, was so overwhelmed with the Gospel’s spiritual truth about Christ’s redemptive, restorative work that he wrote his readers: Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God…” (1 John 3:1-2)

Pilate sarcastically exclaimed, “Behold your King,” as he presented a mocked, beaten, pathetic , impotent, silent, and defeated appearing Christ before a murderous crowd crying loudly for Christ’s crucifixion. Little did he realize that he was announcing the King of Kings, the Alpha and Omega, the Sustainer of the Universe, the all powerful, soon to be resurrected Victor over Death.

Today, this resurrected Christ patiently but passionately implores us to stop and consider an intimate personal relationship with him saying: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20) He is no intruder. He is no aggressor. He is the life giver, standing, waiting, humbly asking permission to enter our lives, desiring to fellowship with us. He brings the goodie bags filled with spiritual nourishment and a heart warm with love.

Behold! Jesus, the lover of your soul!  There is great wonder surrounding Christ. We are exhorted to not only “ fix our eyes” on him ( Hebrews 12:2) but to walk as Jesus walked” (1 John 2:6).

Behold! Reflect on him.

 “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.” (Hymn by Helen Lemuel, 1922)


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