Passion (or Holy) Week is a time to reflect on Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection. That brought to mind an older song that kept running through my mind- “How Beautiful” by Twila Paris. Its lyrics speak to the beauty of Jesus Christ in his life here on earth and in his sacrifice. Can you appreciate the beauty in his life, ministry, and death?
Jesus’ Ministry on Earth
Jesus’ ministry began with His baptism and lasted only three short years. He came to earth to preach the beauty of believing in Him for eternal life. Jesus “came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:1-10)
The beauty of Jesus was not in his physical appearance. The prophet Isaiah tells us “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” (53:2)
Rather, it was his actions and his ability to shower others with his love.
Jesus is love; it is his all-encompassing nature. His love drew people to him. They felt it even when the world despised them. He loved the unlovable, the unclean, and the unworthy.
While he was here on earth, his beautiful hands ministered to heal the sick and feed the hungry.
His beautiful feet walked miles and miles of dusty roads to bring His message of love and salvation to all who would listen.
What Does the Bible Say about Atonement?
Jesus’ message of saving us intertwines with his work of atoning for our sins. He told his disciples at the Last Supper “this is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:27-28.
Can you grasp the beauty of Jesus’ sacrifice to fulfill prophecy and save us by breaking his own body? He took all our sin and bore the consequences.
Who loves like that?
Jesus prayed fervently in the Garden of Gethsemane. The thought of what was to come overwhelmed him. He was in anguish- so much so that an angel appeared and strengthened him. He prayed to His Father so earnestly that his sweat was like drops of blood. (Luke 22:41-44)
Oswald Chambers describes the scene this way: “It is the agony of God and man in one Person, coming face to face with sin. His concern here was that He might not get through this struggle as the Son of Man.”
Your Will Be Done
In the utmost example of his love, Jesus speaks the beautiful words “yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Jesus endures unimaginable suffering before and during his crucifixion. To be honest, I have a DVD of “The Passion of Christ”, but I just can‘t watch it. I have faced criticism for that, but I have read about his sufferings and listened to enough details in sermons and Bible study lectures to picture it in my mind. The thought of watching him endure torture makes me feel physically sick. But yet…
There is still beauty to be found.
How beautiful is his heart that looks at his weeping mother and appoints John to care for her? As he hangs on the cross, his concern is not for himself, but for his mother.
Father, Forgive Them
Can you hear the beauty in Jesus’ words, “Father, forgive them”? He glanced around at the soldiers who nailed Him to the cross and saw them gambling for his clothing. Jesus heard the religious leaders mocking him, a blaspheming crowd, and the criminals on each side of him “heaping insults on him.” Jesus doesn’t despise them, he prays for them. He gives us the example of unmatched love and mercy.
How beautiful are his eyes that look at the thief who repents? He sees him without condemnation and forgives.
After all, it’s the reason he was on the cross. Beautiful, merciful forgiveness.
He laid his body down and willingly paid the price for our sins.
How do we respond? Are we willing to love others even a fraction as he did?
Showing the Love of Jesus
Jesus is counting on us to continue the ministry he started. He meant for us to bring his beauty to a needy and lonely world. He’s hoping we will see others as he does. His wish is that we show his beauty in the ways we love and serve others.
“We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit perfectly together. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” Ephesians 4:15-16.
“How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” Romans 10:15
Every time we sacrifice for him, we show his beauty.
It can be something as simple as showing patience when we don’t feel it. Kind words or a smile to a stranger. Our hands and humble hearts that serve those who are hungry, poor, sad, lonely, or needy show others his love for them.
There is a verse in the song that says “How beautiful when humble hearts give- the fruit of pure lives- so that others might live.”
Reflect on his beauty this week- even through the difficult parts. In what ways can we reflect on his beauty in our own lives?
2 thoughts on “The Beauty of Jesus Christ”
Loved this content very well-written.
The Passion of Christ In Light of the Holy Shroud of Turin was called the greatest relic in Christendom by Pope John Paul II. In fact, the Shroud is the most studied scientific object in the entire world.
Thanks for the encouragement and the link! I will definitely check it out soon!