“He whose brightness is as the morning, wore the sackcloth of sorrow as his daily dress; shame was his mantle, and reproach was his vesture. None more afflicted and sorrowful than he. Yet now, inasmuch as he has triumphed over all the powers of darkness upon the bloody tree, our faith beholds our King in his beauty.”
Charles Spurgeon loved to gaze upon the “King in his beauty.” While Charles knew that Isaiah 33:17 referred to Hezekiah, he asserted that “We have a nobler King than Hezekiah; he is the King of kings and Lord of lords.”
For Spurgeon, the paradox of Christ’s humiliation, and subsequent exaltation, provided a matchless ground for gratitude. The one whose “brightness” was “as the morning” had donned “the sackcloth of sorrow” and taken “shame” for “his mantle.” Indeed, there was “none more afflicted and sorrowful than he.”
Yet, inasmuch as Jesus “triumphed over all the power of darkness upon the bloody tree,” now he returned “with dyed garments from Edom, robed in the splendour of victory.” Indeed, at the cross, the crimson stain of victory was not the blood of Christ’s enemies, but his own blood, poured out for his enemies.
In the first section of his sermon, Spurgeon proclaimed, “We hail the Lord Jesus Christ as our King.” Here Spurgeon asserted, “We hail Immanuel as King,” noting that “His right to royalty lies first in his exalted nature as the Son of God.” After all, “Who should be king but Jehovah?”
For Spurgeon, the Godhood of the God-man was the foundation of his claim to Divine kingship. Spurgeon said it bluntly, “Inasmuch as Jesus Christ is very God of very God, let him reign, let his kingdom come, let him in all things have pre-eminence.”
Second, Spurgeon saw that the kingship of Christ was tied to his role as “the preserver of all men.” Since it was by “the force of his tender love” that “sinners [were] spared upon the earth,” Christ was owed great gratitude and possessed the right to rule.
Third, Spurgeon believed that Christ “governs by virtue of his headship of the mediatorial kingdom.” For Spurgeon, Christ “is not merely king because he is God, but he is King in his complex nature as God and man.” Christ’s rule truly was by “divine delegation.” Thus, he was no “despotic claimant,” but rather “really and truly the Lord’s Anointed!”
In the second section of his sermon, Spurgeon reflected, “We delight to know that our King possesses superlative beauty.” Here Spurgeon aptly began by asking, “Who can be more beautiful than God?”
Indeed, who could be more beautiful than Christ? Not only was he “perfect in love, goodness, and truth,” he was also “the express image of his Father’s person, and the brightness of his Father’s glory.”
Furthermore, such was the love of Christ that the great God-man hid not “his face from shame and spitting,” but “at last consented that the cold seal of death should be set upon his blessed visage.” And so it was that “In the Red Sea of his own blood, our Redeemer has drowned the Pharaoh of our own sins.”
In the third section of his sermon, Spurgeon acknowledged that “There are seasons when we see the King in his beauty.” The chief example Spurgeon mentioned was the “day when he pardoned all our sins.” Indeed, so beautiful was “the blood-bespeckled person,” Spurgeon exclaimed, “How you could have kissed those feet!”
In the fourth section of his sermon, Spurgeon celebrated “The exceeding glory of the sight.” Because of what Christ had done, believers no longer had to fear the “furnace” or the “devouring flame,” but now were able to rejoicing in the “superabounding grace” of God.”
In the fifth, and final, section of his sermon, Spurgeon reminded his congregation that “This sight of Christ eminently affords liberty to the soul.” Here Spurgeon asserted that it was necessary to “look to Christ” with the eyes faith, to believe, in order to be saved. After all, “When we see not Christ, we cannot receive the possessions of the covenant.” Thus, it was necessary “to look” in order “to live.”
Why you should take up and read:
Charles Spurgeon loved to gaze upon the “King in his beauty.” Indeed, the beauty of Christ was magnified by the paradox of Christ’s humiliation and exaltation. Whereas none was more “afflicted and sorrowful as he,” now “we see Jesus crowned with glory and honor.” For those wanting to gaze upon the beauty of Christ in his redemptive work, please be encouraged to take up and read.
Here is the link to the Sermon of the Week:https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/the-king-in-his-beauty#flipbook/
Phillip Ort serves at the Director of The Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City where he is also pursuing a Master of Divinity degree.