Friday, May 11, 2012
"He had no stately form or majesty that we should look on Him,
nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him..."
My daughters and I are memorizing Isaiah 53 and I have been meditating on this verse this week. Once again I am amazed how sin has infiltrated every inch of life, including the mind. It's funny how we read the Bible and judge the characters, but truth be told, we make the same choices - we're just fortunate our choices haven't been written down to be read for ages to come.
Sorry - I'm rambling. Let me explain - when the Israelites begged for a king, God gave them exactly what they wanted: a tall, good looking soldier. But appearances can only take you so far and when his character failed, God replaced him with...well...what my children would call a "ginger" - a redhead. Because, just as God told Samuel while he was looking for God's king, "...man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
We do the same thing today - outward appearance is what opens doors. But Isaiah 53 tells us that Jesus' choice of vessel wasn't spectacular. There was nothing about the shell He wore that would make our heads turn or would even draw us to Him. But we know that what was within that fleshly body was God Himself. When He spoke, the world changed. When He cried, creation groaned. And when He died, He bore God's wrath for humanity's sin - it didn't matter what He looked like on the outside at that point, right?
It's not what you come in, it's what's inside. Take those plain vases above. In my upper cabinet in my kitchen I have my vase collection. I have a few bright and colorful vases, but for the most part they are plain glass and not overly fancy. These are the vases that the florist sends your arrangements in. They don't have to be spectacular because what the florist puts inside the vase is really what matters.
We spend so much time worrying about the vessel. Let's be a people who focus on what we put in the vessel and what comes out of the vessel, rather than what the vessel is made of or how it looks. Does this make sense?
"For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that just as it is written, 'Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.'"
I Corinthians 1:26-31