Autumn's beauty requires death to bring forth the display. Leaves must die in order to achieve their sublime hue. Certainly, beauty graces trees when lively and green. The new growth of a spring forest blesses us with its own expression of wonder. The colors of fall, however, remain unmatched in their varied and vibrant gallery as death (the loss of chlorophyll due to less light and water) originates and hastens the process. This speaks of an even more beautiful glory made possible by loss, darkness, and thirst.
"Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?, that is to say,My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:45-46).
"After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst" (John 19:28).
The Lord Jesus Christ bore infinite glory in the eternal past (John 17:5). He now abides in even greater glory, having lived, died, and been raised from death in order to save us from our sins. Thereby, He became our Savior as well as our Creator. God's holiness and justice required such a loss and such a fall for the Lord Jesus to be constituted as our hope and our redemption. "He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).
The trusting heart views the unsightly horror of the cross and sees our Lord's glorious heart in the most vivid display imaginable. The beauty of God - His character and nature - were never more exhibited than on the cross of Calvary where in love, the Father smote His Son with undeserved wrath that He might grace us unmerited favor. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (I John 4:10). Autumn speaks and sings to us of such glory as falling and lovely leaves reflect the dying glory of a fallen and lovely Savior, and a risen Lord more beautiful than ever.
"He is altogether lovely."
(Song of Solomon 5:16)
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