Our Lovely Saviour
Some have gone to a great extreme in their attempt to describe the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ. One has only to look at the many paintings of the artists to see the various conceptions of His personal appearance. Because of this, we repress any imaginative idea of His bodily appearance, and feel that since the Scriptures give no detailed description of His features it is impossible to know anything about His looks and manners. Let us concede the fact that on this delightful subject the Scriptures are not absolutely silent, but give many significant and loving touches in regard to His person, His features, lips, eyes, face, and form. Surely we can love not only His future appearing, but also His perfect appearance as He was in the days of His flesh. To all these suggestive revelations of Christ, the response of our hearts must be that of the Psalmist in the “Song of the Beloved One,” “Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into Thy lips; therefore God hath blessed Thee forever” (45:2).
“No mortal can with Him compare
Among the sons of men.
Fairer is He than all the fair
That fill the heavenly train.”
His enticing beauty is brought out more vividly as we get an insight into the meaning of the Hebrew word, “fairer.” Strong’s Concordance gives its meaning as “beautiful.” While this beauty may be moral and spiritual, in our present study we will note that it also may be physical, a fact that is often overlooked.
“Thou art fairer” (Psa. 45:2). “Yea, He is altogether lovely” (S. of S. 5:16). Do these statements not bring before us the attractiveness of our Saviour? He is fairer not only in mind and character, but also in person. The King of saints is peerless in His beauty—“Fairer than the children of men;” magnificent in His strength—“O Most Mighty;” and glorious in His physical accomplishments—“Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh.”
In this Psalm (45), the Hebrew word is doubled, “Beautiful, beautiful art Thou.” Jesus is so emphatically lovely that words must be doubled, strained, yea, exhausted before He can be described (C. H. S.). Diodati translates, “Tu sei piu bello,” which means, “Thou art most beautiful.” The translation from the Latin Vulgate gives, “Thou art beautiful above,” and F. W. Grant gives, “Thou art fairer far,” noting a duplicative form which makes it emphatic. He, the Son of Man, transcends all others.
Oh, the spiritual and physical loveliness of the Lord Jesus Christ! Have you seen Him in all His moral beauty? Those of us who love Him are constantly discovering His beauties, for by the Holy Spirit our eyes, long blinded, have been illuminated. Once we were like Israel who confesses, “He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isa. 53:2). Repentant Israel shall yet see His beauty, for the veil of unbelief will be taken away from their hearts. Like them we were blind and insensitive to His charms, but since we believed the Word of God, we have been attracted to Him and can say with the chorus writer:
“Chiefest of ten thousand, Fairest of the fair,
Altogether lovely, beyond compare.
Lord of all creation, Man of Calvary,
Son of God Who loved, and gave Himself for me.”
“The chiefest of ten thousand” (S. of S. 5:10). “The Chiefest,” that is, the Distinguished One, the Chosen One (See the Greek Versions, the Syriac, Jerome, and Luther). Another rendering is “Bannered,” suggesting that He has been provided with a banner. What shall we say of the number, ten-thousand? This numeral is simply used to represent an innumerable multitude; “myriad” is so used among ourselves (cf. Ezek. 16:7), so we could paraphrase the statement, “He is the Chiefest among myriads upon myriads etc.” Of a truth then, the beauty of the Lord Jesus is exquisite, a beauty in His person and appearance that is unsurpassed. He indeed is beautiful to look upon. He Himself has said, “I am the good Shepherd” (John 10:11). The late Mr. Harold St. John wrote, “The beautiful Pastor knows His sheep, lays down His life for them and the reason for this act is, there shall be one flock and one Shepherd” (John 10:16).
Oh, brethren, think of Him as the lovely Man! Muse on Him! He is our Friend!
“Fairest of all the earth beside,
Chiefest of all unto Thy Bride,
Fullness Divine in Thee I see,
Beautiful Man of Calvary.”
Have you thought of Him today? Remember what the Psalmist said, “My meditation of Him shall be sweet” (104:34). Only in so doing do we get glimpses of His beauty and loveliness. We thank God for every Scriptural glimpse that is given to us of “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). We still see through a glass darkly; nevertheless, we learn to know and love His very visage. It is well to remember the saying of Justin Evans in this connection, “There is nothing in Jesus that is not lovely, and there is nothing lovely that is not in Jesus.”
“One Lord there is all lords above;
His name is Truth, His name is Love,
His name is Beauty, it is Light,
His will is everlasting right.
Lord of the everlasting name
Truth, Beauty, Light, Consuming Flame,
Shall I not lift my heart to Thee,
And ask Thee, Lord, to rule in me?”