Posted by: dhkrause | August 19, 2018

Beautiful Savior

Beautiful Savior

The beloved hymn, “Fairest Lord Jesus” motivates us to fix our eyes on our beautiful Savior.  Christ humbly came to this earth as a baby, but all “Glory and honor, praise and adoration, now and forevermore” belong to Him.  By contemplating the lyrics of this old song, we will be better able when we sing it to “put on the garment of praise”, “praise with the spirit and with understanding” and “magnify the Lord” (as a contemporary song exhorts).

Stanza 1
Fairest Lord Jesus, ruler of all nature,
O thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.

The first stanza extols Christ as the Ruler of all nature.  This echoes a theme found in John 1 and Colossians 1:5, that Christ – the Son of God and Son of Man –  is the One by whom and for whom we each were created.

John 1 (NKJV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Colossians 1:16 (NKJV)
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 

Blooming Garb of Spring

Stanza 2
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
robed in the blooming garb of spring:
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer
who makes the woeful heart to sing.

The second stanza calls attention  to the beauty of nature – making special mention of meadows, woodlands and blooming flowers.  These reflect the radiant beauty of our Creator, who makes our woeful hearts to sing.  Paul gives this description of Christ’s glory and beauty:

2 Corinthians 4:6  (NKJV)
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Shines Brighter

Stanza 3
Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight,
and all the twinkling starry host:
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
than all the angels heaven can boast.

The third stanza salutes the awesome beauty of sunshine, moonlight and the “twinkling starry host”.  Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, “I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how a man could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”  Psalm 19 and Romans 1 make this same point:

Psalm 19:1 (NKJV)
The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.

 Romans 1:20 (NKJV)
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

 Yet the light of Christ is brighter and purer than all that nature or the angels of heaven can boast.  We will never walk in darkness when we follow Him.

John 8:12 (NKJV)
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

If we walk in His light, we too will be the light of the world as He declares:

Matthew 5  (NKJV)
14 “You are the light of the world…  16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Psalm 22_28

Stanza 4
Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
now and forevermore be thine.

The fourth stanza acknowledges our beautiful Savior, Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, as the Lord of all the nations.  Psalm 22, a prophetic psalm about the Messiah, declares His coming rulership over all the nations.

Psalm 22 (NKJV)
27 All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the Lord,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s,
And He rules over the nations.

The last two lines of the fourth stanza are an exuberant response to this awesome revelation of our Lord: “Glory and honor, praise, adoration, now and forevermore be thine.”  The first stanza includes the opportunity for the worshiper to personally respond, “Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor; Thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.

David Krause,, 8//18/2018, 

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