We’ve been watching “The Bible” on the History channel. We are now at the part of Jesus’ ministry years. I love the man they having playing the part of Jesus. He is handsome! But it is Hollywood – and I know that Jesus most likely DID NOT resemble him. I am drawn to pictures in my head – pictures that I think He would have looked like. Those pictures make me feel better. But scripture tells us that there was nothing special about his physical appearance:
“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. ” 53:2 Isaiah.
This tells me that I have in my own mind something that is not so. Somehow as human beings we have allowed ourselves to be drawn in and attracted to physical beauty. There probably was nothing physically beautiful about Jesus. And that’s so disappointing.
My definition of “beauty” has to be altered. It must change if I can have a changed life. I must see through and beyond what my eyes tell me. There is nothing attractive about the cross and the journey to it. We wear and see images of the cross – especially around this time of year. We get “turned off” if we have to view what probably really happened and not the watered down “family friendly” version of real events. The movie “The Passion of the Christ” is hard for us to watch because it is too graphic. There is nothing in it that is attractive. We want to run away – turn our heads – deny it. Somehow if we can imagine it wasn’t so bad – that Jesus was prettier, that the people weren’t so cruel – the cross not horrific, then we can return to it over and over again – smile at the yearly reminders and Easter performances. The prettier version does not demand that we change.
When I watch Jesus portrayed as so beautiful – it is not real for me anymore. I believe that Jesus was kind and charismatic and that the people were drawn to Him by something they did not understand – but if He was simply just physically attractive – He might not have made the same journey to the cross. He would have been a local celebrity. And that was not His mission. His real beauty was in demonstrating that mission – and laying down His life.
A beauty deeper than human understanding. Not seen with the eyes but felt with the heart. Beauty that has action and passion. Beauty that does not mind getting its hands dirty. Beauty that knows my deepest need and goes about to solve it. Beauty that knew what I needed long before I was born. A problem solved in a very “non-beautiful” way.
The very “UN-beautiful” cross.
Is my ticket to everlasting life. Life provided for me if I just accept and believe.
That is real beauty.