Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Beauty is more than Skin Deep

Isaiah 53:2   For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,  And as a root out of dry ground.  He has no form or comeliness;  And when we see Him,  There is  no beauty that we should desire Him. 

Three things that we enjoy
When we go on vacation, we like to do three things.  We like to see beautiful memorable sights.  We like to eat new different and good food, and we like to visit friends and relatives.  The Bible takes us on a travelogue that meets all three of those needs in our lives; however, our trip can be taken in an arm chair as we relax and meditate on the blessings of the Bible.

Some things are just not beautiful
As we take this spiritual Biblical journey, we are exposed to some things that are beautiful and to some things that are ugly.  Sin has damaged our beautiful creation.  As a result, we are exposed to war, thorns and thistles, disease, hate, and many other things that we would certainly not consider beautiful.  We are even exposed to the Messiah who did not have the beauty that most assumed a King should have.  The Lord came from Nazareth, a despised city.  He was born a carpenter, the son of a carpenter.  He was poor when He should have been rich.  He had a band of disciples when He should have had a standing army.  He was born in an inn and placed in a manger when He should have been born in castle and been placed in a luxurious crib.  The Lord was not marred by sin as creation had been, but He seemed so common and ordinary.  Certainly He did not seem like a King.

But things get worse.  This common ordinary man who had the ability to heal and calm storms and to teach in an authoritative but gracious way started getting a following which made the Jewish leaders envious.  So in order to get rid of Him, the Jews convinced the Romans to crucify Him.  Now crucifixion is not beautiful.  It is probably one thing that all of us would consider brutal and cruel.  It involved needless suffering and was designed to keep people loyal to the Romans through fear.  Most of us would not want a crucifixion to be one of the stops on a good vacation.

What is true Beauty?
Beauty is usually defined as something that “looks good”.  It appeals to the eye.  True beauty makes us feel good.  Women know the importance of beauty as seen by their purchase and use of beauty products.  A new car needs to appeal to the eye of a potential buyer before that buyer is going to be willing to test drive the car.  A new home has to have eye appeal to sell quickly.  But what is beautiful to one person may not appeal to someone else.  There is truth to the statement that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  What may have been beautiful when we first see something or someone may turn out to seem quite disagreeable later.  The person that we thought was beautiful may have a foul mouth, they may be liars, and they may be so characteristically evil that what was once pleasant to the eyes becomes very irritating when we see them.  I have had cars that I once looked at with pride that I just wanted out of my sight after they became money pits that seemed to need constant repair. 

So what is true beauty?  It depends.   A person who does not have physical characteristics that would put them on the cover of a magazine, might be quite beautiful to people who know them.  Their inner beauty may be such that people don’t even think about their physical beauty.  It is like that with those of us who love the Lord.  The nail prints in His hands and the wound in His side are not something that we would normally consider beautiful.  But to those of us who believe He is precious (1 Peter 2:7).  In other words believers esteem Him and we find Him valuable.  I can assure you that those wounds that He bears because of Calvary are wounds that give Him character and beauty as far as I am concerned.

The Lord may not have looked like a king.  He may have seemed ordinary.  He may bear gruesome scars since His visage or face was marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men (Isaiah 52:14).  The world may find Him detestable.  But I find Him beautiful   After all those scars are the result of His love for me.  And I am quite sure that this is the attitude of all who have found out that He bears the marks of the crucifixion because of His love for them.

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of December 1, 2013

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