My Ugly Savior
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. (Isaiah 53:2)
In a world where we have christian celebrities and dynamic, attractive preachers, I think this verse becomes significant. What draws people to our message? Is it our attractiveness, or are we attractive because of his presence in us? It reminds me of a story from the Brush Arbor meetings in Kentucky - one Methodist preacher became famous for the powerful sermons and manifestations that followed his preaching, but the other extraordinary feature about this preacher was that he was, "just about the ugliest man you had ever laid eyes on."
Not to say we shouldn't be well groomed or present ourselves as best as we can, but the question is what do we put our confidence in? Are we confident because we look good: or do we lack confidence because we feel we don't look good enough? In the end what does it matter? It's the anointing of God and his presence in our lives that makes us the most attractive.
It's difficult to imagine that Jesus may not have been attractive. The more I know of him the more lovely he becomes. When artists paint him or when visions are seen he is always beautiful. But what else could he be? To know him is to love him. To love him is to be attracted to him in such a powerful way that we cannot help but portray him as beautiful.
Isn't it just like God to come to earth as an average (even below average?) looking man? God rarely works within the systems that our world has created. God always turns our systems upside-down. There was nothing in the natural that would attract us to him. It was his divinity and supernatural anointing that drew the world to him. How awesome that as he walked the earth people were drawn to him because of what poured out of him. He was the resurrection and the life, the bright and beautiful morning star. Those who were religious were repelled by him, but those who recognized their need for a savior couldn't stay away.
One day I shall see him face to face - I will know as I am known. On that day I shall see him as he is, and I have no doubt that when I see him he will be beautiful. From this side of the cross he could be nothing but beautiful.