The Majesty of Christ
Charles S. Jarrett, Malvern
The words of Isaiah 52. 13-15 are spoken by God and are the 'report' of chapter 53. 1. The prophet speaks verses 1 and 2 of chapter 53 and Israel answers in verses 3-6.
The first part of verse 2 describes the Lord's life as seen by God, while the second part shows how He was seen by men. They say 'He hath no form nor comeliness'. 'No form' means that they saw no outward beauty, nothing outstandingly attractive in the arm of the Lord. 'Comeliness' is translated 'lordliness' by J. N. Darby, and 'majesty' by Rotherham, a meaning supported by Strong's Concordance and the writings of David Baron.
Wise men from the east came seeking the One born King of the Jews and having found Him, worshipped Him, opened Lheir treasures and presented costly gifts. But Israel saw no majesty! He entered a humble home, as is seen in that when Mary offered, forty-one days after His birth, the sacrifice which the Law allowed for the poor, 'a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons', Luke 2. 22-24; Lev. 12. 6.
Luke 7. 25 suggests that the Lord did not wear splendid clothing. He was not gorgeousiy apparelled. His followers were twelve men of no great reputation. He had none of the outward evidences of majesty. Israel's first king was one of impressive form, head and shoulders above all the people, 1 Sam. 10. 23. David was of beautiful countenance and goodly to look to, 1 Sam. 16. 12 and a mighty man of battle. Solomon had unequalled glory and wisdom. But the Lord Jesus was meek and lowly in heart. He bore on His heart the sorrows of the people, and before He was crucified He was grossly insulted by being spit upon, His face and form so marred as to destroy all likeness to man, 'any trace of the grace and beauty which belong to the human face and figure', David Baron. The moral beauty of Christ was not seen. He performed signs that revealed He was the Son of God, 'yet they believed not on Him', John 12. 37.
They had no eyes to see and no heart to understand so that the saying of Isaiah might be fulfilled which he spake, 'Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?', John 12. 38.
So, because the people saw no majesty, Jehovah's Servant was despised and rejected of men. When He is again revealed to Israel after the time of their great tribulation, and they shall look on Him whom they pierced, they will use the confession of Isaiah 53. 3-6, for they did not own these things at His first advent.
But God's report promised that He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high, Isa. 52. 13. Israel considered there was an absence of majesty but God has accorded Him majesty. How moving are the words spoken of the Son, 'when He had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high', Heb. 1. 3. Once the Lord had cried 'it is finished', men were not allowed by God to dishonour Him any more. They made His grave with the wicked; a criminal's grave, but God intervened and loving and reverent hands took Him down from the cross. They embalmed His body and placed it in an undefiled tomb, so that He was with the rich in His death, Isa. 53. 9.
Now, we see not yet with natural eyesight all things put under Him, as we shall some day, 'but we see Jesus ... crowned with glory and honour', Heb. 2. 8-9. By faith we believe and rejoice in things unseen to sight.
The Head that once was crowned with thorns Is crowned with glory now! A royal diadem adorns The mighty Victor's brow!
He fills the throne-the throne above. He fills it without wrong; The object of His Father's love. The theme of angels' song.
The generation among which we live has, in the main, no time or thought for the One who died for us. His name is only used in passionate expletive, but what joy it gives believers to know that Israel's rejected King is 'far above all', Eph. 1.21; and He is there for them, Heb. 9. 24.
When the Lord comes to earth again, preceded by alarming signs, it will be 'with power and great glory', Matt. 24. 30. He 'shall sit in the throne of his glory', Matt. 19. 28; 25. 31. During His reign the whole earth will 'be filled with his glory', Psa. 72. 19. 'All kings shall fall down before him', Psa. 72. 11. As the report of Isaiah 52. 15 says, 'kings shall shut their mouths at him': for the glory and authority of the King of Kings will eclipse all power and might and dominion and every name that is named in this age and in the coming age, Eph. 1.21.
Peter wrote that he, James and John were 'eyewitnesses of his majesty', 2 Pet. 1. 16. He thus refers to his experience on the holy mount when the Lord was transfigured before them. They saw for a while the overwhelming glory of His face and raiment, and heard the voice of God the Father giving honour and glory to His beloved Son, Matt. 17. 1-8; 2 Pet. 1. 17-18. The Lord's reign on earth will be literal. God has decreed that He will be acknowledged in the scene where He was formerly denied and rejected. Every creature in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in (or upon) the sea and all that are in them will yet say, 'Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever', Rev. 5.13.
The whole creation groans at present, and so do we, but in the golden age when all things shall be put under His feet, creation will be delivered from the bondage brought upon it by the disobedience of Adam, and we shall know the redemption of the body, Rom. 8. 21-23. God's King is 'fairer than the children of men ... Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness', Psa. 45. 2-4.