SOS 5:16 – His mouth is most sweet,
Yes, he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved,
And this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem!
The beauty of Christ cannot be completely described by any other beauty that we see in this life. His beauty is incomparable because it is a spiritual beauty rather than a natural beauty. Isaiah described this in his comments in Isa.53:2,3 –
“And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
The man Jesus of Nazareth did not stand out because of His physical appearance. His beauty flows from within; it is the outshining of His excellent nature that makes Him altogether lovely. He humbled Himself to the point of death on a cross. In His suffering, He was marred more than any man, and in His grotesque appearance at crucifixion His beauty shined out. His love for us that emanates from Him is what makes Jesus altogether lovely. He loved us in our sins and that is what makes Him so beautiful. Here is how Jonathan Edwards describes this.
“Christ is altogether lovely in the eyes of a Christian. There is nothing in Christ, no attribute or qualification, but that he is lovely to him on the account of it. Not only his goodness and grace, but his justice and sovereignty is lovely to the Christian…..They that find Christ, find him who is the chiefest of ten thousand, altogether lovely. They find one with a loveliness altogether new, such as they never saw anything like it before. They find a pearl of great price, a jewel that is exceeding precious. The brightness with which it sparkles is precious and sweet. The brightness of the sun is but darkness to it, and therefore it fills the soul with exceeding gladness.”
All the beauty of this creation is just a shadow of the beauty of Christ. These earthly beauties point us to the magnificence of the Lord, but nothing comes even close. How do I know? I have seen Him, heard Him, and known him with my heart. The greatest mountaintop view, exhilarating experience, or even the dearness of a friend can’t compare with His loveliness. I have to agree with Solomon, “He is altogether lovely”.