Christian beauty 2: Christ our gorgeous priest

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18/01/2013 by Chris Green

Yesterday was gorgeous.  The sky was palest blue, dusted with pink and orange, there was enough snow to reflect the winter sunlight, and enough mist to make it soft at the edges.

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The God who made that is gorgeous. His wisdom and righteousness are breathtaking. Even the gorgeousness of creation, which he decided, using a craftsman’s word, was ‘very good’, is nothing compared to his own.  Mostly he hides, because his gorgeousness is too dazzling for fallen, finite people like us, but when occasional prophets saw it they had the breath sucked out of them.

His salvation plan is gorgeous too.  The high priest, drenched in jewels, stood in a golden cube inside a golden, silver, woven tent that God had designed to the last tassel, and whose artist and architect he personally inspired.

The temple which replaced it was beyond description in its splendour. One of the world’s greatest musician-poets wrote its songbook, and it was set in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, on its most beautiful hill.

One day, Christ’s bride, the church – that’s you and me – will be even more dazzling than that. Until that day we criss-cross the world telling people of his beauty – and even our feet are beautiful.

  • We, being finite, can only sketch in the dust compared to our master artist, Christ. But since we’re made in his image, those sketches in the dust can move you to tears.
  • We being fallen, turn our artistic gifts into furnaces for idols, both physical and mental. And yet, even the idols still reflect glimpses of his beauty.
  • We, living in a fallen world, see the ugliness that sin causes, and the ugliness that sin desires.
  • We, being fallen, did not see his beauty when he walked among us, but only saw the ugliness of our sin which he carried, and our griefs which he bore.
  • When we walk be sight and not by faith, we see creation in its own terms, yet we’re still blown away by its magnificence.
  • But when we walk by faith and not by sight, we see the world’s beauty even more clearly, because we know the one who made it and saved it.

Tomorrow with him will be gorgeous

To ponder

What is the most beautiful natural object you have seen, heard, felt today?

What is the most beautiful human object you have seen, heard, felt today?

Turn those thoughts to praise.

How many of the statements in this blogpost can you find biblical references for?

One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. Ps. 27:4

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