The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe...
"The Most Beautiful"
The immeasurable beauty we see in God's creation speaks to the beauty that exists in His heart.
"He is altogether lovely" (Song of Solomon 5:16).
"He hath made everything beautiful in His time" (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
Be it a sunrise or sunset, be it a mountain range or sparkling stream, be it forest primeval or a beagle puppy, be it mathematical precision or a baby's smile, the universe sings its hymn of "altogether lovely" to any heart with the ears to hear the refrain. Blind and bereft is the spirit that fails to see in beautiful things the Source of such art that bears witness to the Artist. "Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us" prayed King David, whose Psalms depict a man like all men, but with a singular Spirit-inspired capacity to behold the Beautiful One in myriad varieties of beautiful things (Psalm 90:17). Indeed, the Psalms of David exist as a gallery, both in their sublime prose and their poetic descriptions of the Creator and His creation.
Strikingly, however, the most vivid display of God's beauty can and must be known not in the creation, but on the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. At Calvary, the One proclaimed as "altogether lovely" was "marred more than any man" (Isaiah 52:14). The perfectly innocent Lamb of God suffered His Father's wrath as He "bore our sins," and "was made to be sin for us" (I Peter 2:24; II Corinthians 5:21). The most cruel injustice occurred on the cross in terms of our responsibility for the Savior's agonized death. Indeed, Calvary was the ugliest thing that ever happened, or ever will happen. "Him… by wicked hands ye have crucified and slain" (Acts 2:23).
God's beauty nevertheless glimmers most brightly in the light of the cross's darkness. Transcending all other rays of illumination, Calvary shines with the truth that the cross resulted not only from human wickedness, but also by Divine grace. The cross confirms in Blood the pronouncement of the Old Testament that God "delighteth in mercy" (Micah 7:18). The cross unveils by sorrow the glory that "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" (Romans 5:20). The cross speaks by its agony to all who believe: "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds" (Psalm 147:3). The cross tells sinners that love rather than wrath forms God's intentions for all who will receive the freest gift ever given, made possible by the highest cost ever remitted. Yes, an ugly cross promises an eternity of God's beauty resting upon and dwelling within us.
Let us open our eyes to the wonders of beauty in God's creation. But even more, let us open our hearts to the most beautiful of all wonders, as revealed in the most wretched of all places. Yes, the cross of Calvary serves as the gallery whereupon our Savior's suffering death revealed God's grace, mercy, goodness, and love where we would never expect to find such beauty…
"The light shineth in darkness."
"One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple."
Weekly Memory Verse
Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for Me?