In Psalm 27, the psalmist David sings praise to God and says in Verse 4:
“One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple”
One thing he desired and strived to have for himself and that was to spend all his time praising his God and to spend his time in the worship of his Almighty Creator. To David, he could do this because in the LORD he saw a beauty that was far greater than one could possible have imagined. Is the Lord Jesus beautiful to you? Is it your greatest desire to be in fellowship and communion with him, to be praying without ceasing to him and to be meditating on His goodness to you.
We can look to scripture to read of what Christ was like. Isaiah 53 tells us that in Him there was no form or comeliness that we should desire Him. As Christ hung on the cross at Calvary in the depths of despair he was bearing the punishment that His children would have had to bear for all eternity. Soldiers were standing around mocking Him, many women were standing weeping as their Redeemer was in agony on the tree. Isaiah 52:14 reads:
“As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men”
He had been beaten to the extent that He was barely recognisable, He was despised and rejected of men. What a lonely tragic death our LORD died to pay for our unrighteousness and to atone for our sin. Nothing other than this sacrifice could satisfy the anger that God has against sin. But at the point when He cried ‘It is finished’, the work was done. He died and returned to Paradise where he would meet that poor thief who was to suffer on his cross to pay the punishment before the law for his transgressions.
But against this physical picture that we are given of Christ, Solomon in Song of Solomon 5 gives a wonderful picture of Christ, “my Beloved” he calls Him. In verse 16, Solomon in praise of His God says:
“His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem”
Yea, He is altogether lovely. Does Christ have that most wonderful place in your life where you see him as altogether lovely, your Beloved and your Friend, that Friend that sticketh closer than a brother (Proverbs 18v24). If you feel that He doesn’t, can I plead with you to pray to the Lord that His Holy Spirit would give you that reassurance that He IS our Beloved and our Friend. These are promises that are ours as Christians.
John Owen the leading puritan pastor and theologian in dealing with ‘The Glories and Excellencies of Christ’ draws out many aspects of the loveliness of Christ.
He is altogether lovely in his person, in the glorious all sufficiency of his deity and the gracious purity and holiness of his humanity, authority, majesty, love and power.
He is altogether lovely in his birth and incarnation
He is altogether lovely in the whole of his life, in his holiness and obedience, which in the depths of poverty and persecution he showed by doing good, receiving evil, blessing others and being cursed himself all his days
He is altogether lovely in his death, especially to sinners. He was never more glorious and desirable than when he was taken down form the cross, broken and lifeless. He carried all our sins into a land of forgetfulness. He made peace and reconciliation for us. He procured life and immortality for us.
He is altogether lovely in his work, in his great undertaking to be the Mediator between God and man, to glorify God’s justice, to save our souls, to bring us to the enjoyment of God who were at such an infinite distance from him by reason of our sin.
He is altogether lovely in the glory and Majesty with which he was crowned. Now he is seated at the right hand of the majesty on high. Though he is terrible to his enemies, yet he is full of mercy and compassion to his loved ones.
He is altogether lovely in all those graces and comforts that he pours on his people by the Holy Spirit
He is altogether lovely in all the tender care, power and wisdom by which he protects, safeguards and delivers his church and people in the midst of all opposition and persecutions to which they are exposed.
He is altogether lovely in all his ordinances and the whole of that glorious spiritual worship which he has appointed for his people, by which they draw near to him and have communion with him and his Father.
He is altogether lovely and glorious in the vengeance that he hates and will finally execute upon the stubborn enemies of himself and his people.
He is altogether lovely in the pardon that he has purchased and which he gives to those who receive him.
“He is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem”
Owen had a great grasp of what Christ should mean to the believer. This great goodness that is revealed in the beauty of our Saviour is revealed in Scripture so that we can read it for ourselves. Surely there is a challenge here to the believer to search his own life and to see if Christ has that high and elevated position that he ought to have. The mere thought of sinning against such Perfect beautiful God should send us pleading for forgiveness. As believers, that perfect life of Christ should be evident in our lives, walk and conversation. Is it?
The Christ who took on the form of man, went to the cross, bled and died, beaten humiliated so that “whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16. But he arose from the dead! How wonderful! Our Beautiful Saviour is Alive! Hallelujah!
Are you still unsaved? Is this a different Christ to the one that you have ever imagined? It is wonderful. This is the Christ of Scripture and he says to you “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out”. How can we come? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” Acts 16: 31
Let us praise God now “For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty!” Zechariah 9:17
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