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he compares the holy city to a bride in verse 9. Back in verse 2 he had
stressed the beauty of the bride by saying she was adorned for her husband.
The bride adorned is the universal symbol of beauty. She represents not
only the beauty of love, but the beauty of the physical. Her gorgeous gown
and magnificent jewelry set her apart as the object of adoration.
All commentators agree that the bride represents the church in it's
ideal state. This being the case, the beauty of this heavenly bride is
relevant to all believers. They will be a part of the beauty of heaven just
as the lost will be a part of the ugliness of hell. The eternal destiny of
all men is either beauty or ugliness. It is safe to say that every
Christian will be eternally beautiful. The Bride of Christ will be without
spot or wrinkle. No Christian will bear any defect of any kind. Paul will
not longer have his thorn in the flesh, and every physical problem will
cease to exist, when we receive our resurrected bodies. Joni stresses her
hope of being rid of her wheel chair and dancing with the angels. There is
no reason to doubt that her hope will be fulfilled.
Imagine what this hope must have meant to the first readers of the book
of Revelation. Christians were of the poor class. Many were slaves, whose
bodies revealed the lack of adequate food and care. The hard life of
millions of Christians left them scarred and maimed. Like Lazarus at the
gate of the rich man, the only medical care they had was that of the dogs,
who came and licked their sores. What a glorious hope heaven was to them.
Even with all our progress in medical care, we still experience enough of
the problems of the flesh to appreciate John Mason Neal's joyful poem of
heavenly expectation-O how glorious and resplendent,
Fragile body, shalt thou be,
When endued with heavenly beauty,
Full of health and strong and free,
Full of vigor, full of pleasure,
Thou shall last eternally.
No one in the Old Testament was allowed into the presence of God who
had any bodily defect. No sacrifice was acceptable that had even the
slightest blemish. All of this was to stress that God is a God of beauty
and perfection. Nothing short of perfect beauty can please Him. This being
the case, all who love His Son are assured of being perfectly beautiful
forever. If Christ is our Savior, we will be a part of this lovely bride
adorned for her heavenly husband. We may not always appreciate our
photograph now, but we shall all be satisfied when we awake in His likeness.
Meanwhile, with all of our defects, we can still let the beauty of Jesus be
seen in us, if we heed the wisdom of Paul and focus our minds on what is
true, noble, and lovely. Christian people should have the highest standards
in every realm of life. Quality and beauty should characterize all that
they appreciate. Margerie Holmes writes,
Lord, let me take time for beauty.
Time for a jug of flowers on the table, or a plant if flowers
arn't in bloom. Time for a dap of lipstick or a fresh blouse
before the family comes home. Don't let me settle for the
dingy, the shabby, the ugly--either with myself or with my
house, just because I'm too lazy to make the effort.
Give me the energy and the will to provide a bit of beauty.
You've made the world so beautiful, Lord, let me take time