The Beauty of Jesus in John 1:24-31
Today has been a difficult day. It has felt bitter sweet. I have written a couple of blogs and meditated much on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. However, I have also had a negative attitude towards others, made some difficult choices and, at times, chose not to live in the light. What a bitter and sweet day. For the most part, I did not like this day....my remedy....worship, prayer, confession and writing; writing about what I find beautiful about Jesus. My mind is somewhat consumed right now with what is ugly about me. The alternative? Write something beautiful about Jesus. Get my off eyes of myself and focus on someone more astounding and brilliant.....Jesus. What a man he is! He is stellar in every way. I am frustrated with my inconsistencies, and as a result, I’m overwhelmed by his steadiness, faithfulness and consistency. He is always good. There is not a time when He is not good! It’s impossible for me to be consistent, all the time, in all places. But Jesus? Not at all. He is always good. I long to wrap my mind around it, but I can’t. I just can’t. Amazing!
John 1:24-31 [The Message], “Those sent to question him were from the Pharisee party. Now they had a question of their own: "If you're neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet, why do you baptize?" John answered, "I only baptize using water. A person you don't recognize has taken his stand in your midst. He comes after me, but he is not in second place to me. I'm not even worthy to hold his coat for him." These conversations took place in Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing at the time. The very next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and yelled out, "Here he is, God's Passover Lamb! He forgives the sins of the world! This is the man I've been talking about, 'the One who comes after me but is really ahead of me.' I knew nothing about who he was—only this: that my task has been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer. That is why I came here baptizing with water, giving you a good bath and scrubbing sins from your life so you can get a fresh start with God."
So, what do I find beautiful about Jesus? He is God’s Passover Lamb. Because of his life, his perfection, his death, his burial, his resurrection, his conquering of sin, death, hell and the grave death passes over us and has no right to claim any territory in our hearts or lives. We are not perfect. We, maybe I should say “I”, make choices that are not in harmony with his purposes for me. Coveting finds residence in my heart. I do not always honor relationships and protect those closest to me. Sometimes I commit the sins that ensnared Adam and Eve. Pride crouches at my door. The lust of the flesh or the lust of the eyes wait for my vulnerabilities to surface and then they pounce. Pounce they do, but to no avail. Oh sure, there may be a momentary decision towards sin, but sin has been dealt with. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15.57 [The Message], “It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!”
Beautiful! Jesus is beautiful because he rendered impotent and dead the trilogy of destruction. That’s what I find beautiful about Jesus.
If I’m willing, if you are willing, he will take our shame and give us beauty. If I’m willing, if you are willing, he will take our brokenness and give us health. If I’m willing, if you are willing, he will take our guilt and we then live with a clean conscience. If I’m willing, if you are willing, he will take our fear and give us courage. If I’m willing, if you are willing, he will take our sins and failures and give us purity and freedom.
I AM WILLING! I say yes to the Passover Lamb! I put my trust and confidence in this man called Jesus. I confess my loyalty to him. I confess that I want him to shape my vision.
I am reminded of the ancient Irish Hymn, “Be thou my Vision” [click on the link and listen to it on YouTube.]
Part of the song states: “Be thou my wisdom and Thou my true word I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord Thou my great Father, I , Thy true son Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one”
The Beauty of Jesus is that he made possible the intimacy attained between the Father and us. We are dwelling together as one. The separation that sin seeks to attain has been nullified because of Jesus, the Passover Lamb. The destructive power of sin, guilt and death must pass over us, over our homes, over our families, over our lives because the blood of the spotless Lamb, Jesus, has been applied to our lives.
“Jesus Christ is how the Father runs to us. He’s how the Father embraces us. He’s how the Father kisses us. He’s how the Father blesses us. He’s how the Father adopts us into his family. He actually clothes us with a robe of his righteousness.”
To Close: Meditate for a few moments on the beauty of Jesus. Thank him for his sacrifice and his victory. Thank him the death passes over us because of him. He is the giver of life. Celebrate that!