Sunday, January 16, 2011

Nothing In His Appearance That We Should Desire Him

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 53:2-3

Nothing in His appearance that we should desire...Nothing to attract us to Him. Jesus did not become Everyman for our benefit. He became nobody. Think of it, a nobody who knew sorrow, who understood grief.

Christmas may have passed but I have been contemplating Christ coming to earth as a human being, as one of us. The more I read of His heavenly glory, His limitless power, the less I can imagine what it took for Him to do it. I couldn't get my mind around the concept because I could not see myself ever, let me say with emphasis, E-V-E-R doing such a thing.

It was not just the throne to manger thing that was a hindrance to my understanding. It was all the spit on, crowned with thorns, betrayed, stripped, whipped and crucified elements that filled the distance between Heaven and Earth. Isaiah says clearly that He became one of us but I challenge you to find such a person among us. Don't look at me and I won't look at you.

Still, I wanted to know His heart and I asked wisdom to grasp such sacrificial and determined love. The answer came on a whisper with the strength of a hurricane.

As I shared my thoughts with Jesus as to how He not only agreed to such a plan but was its coauthor, a comparison formed in my mind. I thought of who I am and what I know, what I am able to do and accomplish. I thought that to Christ, His renouncing His Glory, supremacy and authority and becoming a human man, would be somewhat like my renouncing my humanity to become a cow or a pig destined for the slaughterhouse. (A poor example considering the greater distance His comedown would have been).

Would I while retaining my human mind become a common, dirty animal, terrified, stunned and pressed onto the killing floor? I tried to project my thoughts and emotions into the animal. To become an animal. The thought made me awash in fear.

(You may be challenging this comparison since animals are not considered to be sentient beings but I think it holds water.)

I honestly and a little shamefully said, "Lord, I could NEVER make such an exchange. There is nothing inside of me that would allow me to relinquish myself so completely and give myself over, powerless, in to such cruel hands. Nothing." I thought that was a true assessment.

Silence...then a soft almost imperceptible question was spoken into my mind. "What if it would save John David?" Seven words and I was shattered. Shattered and informed. For John David I would do anything, suffer anything that he may live and have a good life. I imagined myself that powerless cow and knew I would embrace her fate for such a love and hope and not consider the cost. I would throw my life away for my child's security and safety.

Before I had time to fully consider my new knowledge another question came. "Would you do it for an enemy?" Now I am staring at the naked, stripped love of Almighty God who gave it up for those who despised Him, plotted against Him, would never acknowledge Him or appreciate His sacrifice. The God who, as man, tossed back His head and drained the cup of suffering until it was "Finished."

Now I begin to see such great salvation. A God who can be trusted to love me the best and plan for my life and forgive my sins to the uttermost. He did not go half way in the saving of this world and His affection towards me will be a full measure as well.

"Undesirable" no longer. He is the God of all my desire and affection. Through His willing poverty I have gained Eternity.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them." Revelation 21:3

Jesus, Thank you. Thank you my All Desirable Savior!

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