“The light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ”
(2 Corinthians 4:6, NIV).
(2 Corinthians 4:6, NIV).
How expensive the face it! It mirrors the changing emotions of the soul. It is the index to character and personality. It reveals both weaknesses and strengths. It betrays sorrow or joy, hatred or love, cruelty or sympathy.
Our Lord’s face was entirely different from anything any artist has portrayed on canvas. It was absolutely unique because it reflected not only Himself but His Father – the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). But when sinful men saw the glory, they extinguished it.
The face of Jesus Christ revealed the holiness of God. “The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow” (Revelation 1:14). Our faces carry the lines of sin, but in Him is no sin. In His case, the transmission of the racial heritage was interrupted by the virgin birth. He knew sin only by seeing it in others and by suffering for it. His face reflected the purity of His heart.
It revealed the steadfastness of God. “He steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). The Samaritans recognized the marks of resolution on His face, and how greatly He needed it. The road from Bethlehem to Golgotha was rock-strewn and steeply uphill. Many things could deter and deflect Him and weaken His resolve, but He steadfastly held His course.
The sympathy of God was etched on His face. “He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it” (Luke 19:41). What a concept – a weeping God! The glory of God was expressed in salty tears coursing down the face of the Son of Man! He envisaged the scene, still forty years distinct, when blood would flow like water in Jerusalem’s streets.
It manifested the wrath of God. “He looked around at them in anger and deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts” (Mark 3:5). The face of Christ blazed with holy anger! Does this seem incongruous? Is He not “gentle Jesus, meek and mild”? Scripture reveals that Jesus was capable of burning indignation, but it was the wrath of love. Grieved is a word that is used only of one who loves.
His face expressed the gladness of God. “His face shone like the sun” (Matthew 17:2). It was not sad and hopeless, but radiant. His injunction, “Do not look somber…” (Mathew 6:16), tacitly implied that His own face reflected the joy of God.
[Edited, modified and modernized from Consider Him (1976) by J. Oswald Sanders]
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.