Whatever beauty there may be in the material world, Jesus Christ possesses all of that in the spiritual world to the nth degree. Among flowers the rose is regarded as the sweetest, but Jesus is infinitely more beautiful in the garden of the soul than a rose in the gardens of earth. He takes the first place as the fairest among ten thousand. He is the sun, and all others are the stars; the heavens and the day are dark in comparison with Him, for the King in His beauty transcends all.
"I am a rose of Sharon." This was the best and rarest of roses. Jesus simply is not "a rose"; He is "a rose of Sharon," just as He calls His righteousness "gold," and then adds, "the gold of Ophir"1—the best of the best. He is positively lovely, and superlatively the loveliest.
There is variety in His beauty. The rose is delightful to the eye, and its scent is pleasant and refreshing; so each of the senses of the soul, whether it be the taste or feeling, the hearing, the sight, or the spiritual smell, finds appropriate gratification in Jesus. Even the recollection of His love is sweet. Take a rose of Sharon, pull it leaf from leaf, and place the leaves in the jar of memory, and you will find each leaf retains its fragrance, filling the house with perfume. Christ satisfies the highest taste of the most educated spirit to the full. The greatest amateur in perfumes is quite satisfied with a rose: And when the soul has arrived at her highest pitch of true taste, she will still be content with Christ; indeed, she shall be more able to appreciate Him.
Heaven itself possesses nothing that excels a rose of Sharon. What emblem can fully set forth His beauty? Human speech and earthborn things fail to tell of Him. Earth's choicest beauties combine to provide ultimately a feeble picture of His glory. Blessed rose, bloom in my heart forever!
1) 1 Chronicles 29:4
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.