Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beauty & the Beast: Seeing Jesus in the Story

I know the final chapter ended with a long-awaited wedding and those of you who followed the long-winded story (read HERE) are left concluding that we have lived "happily ever after" and while that is true to some degree it is also patently untrue. I feel responsible for giving some people out there a false hope - that if you find LOVE you will find ultimate happiness and have fulfilled your purpose in life. This is only partially correct.

French novelist, George Sand once said, “There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.”  Amen.  Sand recognized that we all have a profound instinct to love and be loved and I believe God, in His goodness, designed us in this way that we might seek Him - the one who is love (1 Jn 4:8). And when we love Him and when we are loved by Him to echo John Piper – we are most satisfied and the Creator is most glorified. Sadly, most of this world is deceived into thinking that ultimate love can be found in a person instead of God Himself. This view will only result in massive disappointment. No matter how happy the union - no marriage can bear this gigantic burden. The earthly marriage was only meant to picture and project the divine union - not redefine or replace it. (Eph 5:31-32)

I think our universal longing for a transcendent love becomes more obvious when you observe the striking similarities between secular love songs and spiritual worship songs (see video below). You will find there is very little difference between the two – however one is a misplaced hope in a person and the other is a living hope in a loving God. Each recognizes the need for love – but only one holds the ultimate solution.

The Bible tells us that in the beginning we were in a perfect love relationship with God and nothing was lacking. But alas, that perfect love relationship was broken by sin. In essence, Adam and Eve did not believe that God loved them, and they sinned and we have all inherited that sin. Therefore, we are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners. This is now our very nature - and we are utterly lost and broken and we cannot approach God in our sin. We would be consumed in an instant in the awesome presence of His holiness.

But there is hope. Since that day, God has been on a relentless quest of love. He pursues us. He pursues us with an unbreakable and an eternal love, and His end desire is to restore that perfect union that was lost in the beginning. But unlike my pathetic love story, He did not produce a single amaryllis to prove His love – every plant and planet and all of creation stands as proof of His great love for us. He did not scrounge together a scrapbook over a few years to testify of His enduring love – He provided 66 books spanning thousands of years as a testament of His enduring love. Contrary to popular belief, the Bible is not a book of “do’s” and “don’ts”, it is ultimately a story of love. A story about a divine love for you and me. 

This is why the Bible opens with a marriage (Gen 2) and closes with a wedding (Rev 21). This is why in the prophecies of Jeremiah we see the despair found in the brokenness of a divine marriage and in the poetry of the Song of Solomon we see the unadulterated joy found in an earthly one. This is why in the book of Hosea we see a man and a woman play out a heart-wrenching story of unrequited love, and in the book of Ruth we see a man and a woman play out a heart-warming story of unconditional love. This is why a wedding is the site of Jesus’ first miracle and the setting of his last parables. 

Make no mistake, when Jesus begins his ministry on earth he clearly presents himself as the bridegroom, to pay the bride-price to redeem us by dying for our sins - in order to restore that once perfect union with Him. Marriage literally begins and ends as God's idea. It is God's creation, God's institution, and God’s glory.

And if we enter into his promised covenant of love by faith, then what was lost in a garden on earth, will be fully restored at a wedding in heaven. Our joy will be complete because we will truly understand what it means to “love and be loved” and we shall "know him, as we have been fully known" (1 Cor 13:12), and “God will be most glorified in us, because we will be most satisfied in Him”.

This is why “Beauty” [JESUS} became a “Beast” [lowly man]. (Phil 2) This is why beasts [mankind] can be made beautiful [like JESUS]. This is why the Gospel is the greatest love story ever told.

In His Grace,

Peter & Kim


  1. i have to say..this was my favorite one in the b&the b series. :)

  2. great ending to the series!

  3. I thank God for the way you allowed Him to powerfully work in ur life. I was so blessed reading your blogs. Your journey of Faith not only strengthened our faith but also helped us to develop love to you and your family, even if we do not know you personally, Ur writings brought us into our knees to cry and fight in behalf of your dear beauty. Truly, we are family in Christ. We may not have a chance to meet here on earth but we’ll definitely see each other when we all cross the finish line. God bless you and your family exceedingly