Abundant Life is Never Meaningless
Have you ever experienced devastating circumstances that upon first reflection you thought, “This is so senseless and meaningless”? Part of the reason we fight the temptation to give in to hopelessness is because of what we see—or rather do not see. We are blind to many of the purposes God prepared in advance for us (Ephesians 2:10). Yet we know the very essence of faith is not believing what we now see, but rather believing what we will see. In Romans 8:28, the apostle Paul tells us that all things work for our good. Paul goes on to tell us that situations often appear to have no purpose, but those things which seem insignificant are doing something. We may not see it now, but we will one day see, and it will be joyfully glorious
(2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
The Suffering Servant
Jesus was predicted to suffer in three ways (Isaiah 50:6). He gave his back to be struck, his face to be spit on, his cheeks so his beard could be yanked upon. In the words of John Piper,
“We see the intentionality of Jesus to suffer for us. I have to work hard in my imagination to keep before me what iron will this required. Humans recoil from suffering. We recoil a hundred times more from suffering that is caused by unjust, ugly, sniveling, low-down, arrogant people. He gave his back to the smiter. He gave his cheek to slapping. He gave his beard to plucking. He offered his face to spitting. And he was doing it for the very ones causing the pain.” Desiring God
There is something profound in the beard of Christ. Jesus, let it grow knowing it would be torn out of his flesh. Allowing evil hands to rip each follicle with hate. At this, I thought, “Why didn’t he simply shave it?” He could have spared himself significant suffering on his way to the cross. Historically we know he could have shaved, as people of that time did have a method to do so, but he didn’t. This was an intentional act.
The Intentional Meaning in Moments
We have a Savior who goes out of his way to intentionally demonstrate what it looks like to embrace suffering. No word, no action, no thought was ever wasted to triviality. Jesus did everything for a reason. every detail of his life had eternal purpose.
Knowing Jesus chose not to shave his beard and offered it for a purpose gives my heart flight. Shaving or not shaving seems rather insignificant, but knowing Jesus did everything with purpose, it must be for you and me to see glory in it. This action taken by our Lord shows us that nothing we face, even as small as facial hair, is insignificant in God’s sovereign work.
We can be certain Christ’s beard has a message of meaning and hope. It is what the beard represents. Jesus showed that power belongs to God over every event big and small, even the hairy ones (2 Corinthians 4:7). God knew we would struggle to find meaning in moments that seem as insignificant as a grooming decision. He intentionally shows us significance in the fact that Christ had a beard. Growing a beard, which seems inconsequential, shows how obedience in all things is paramount. There are no infinitesimal events in your life. All things are ordained by God to glorify Christ. Jesus demonstrates the light of the Gospel in his face through the growing of his beard. Signifying the glory of God, in everything, is never pointless (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Everything for a reason and a reason for everything
It is by this example of suffering that we can rest in the hope that the steps of the redeemed are established by God with great intentionality (Psalms 37:23). There are no mistakes of haphazard insignificance on the pathway to finding joy in him. There aren’t times of accidental oversight on the part of your life, for even the hairs on your head are numbered (Matthew 10:30).
Never give in to the hopeless sight of your darkened eyes, but rather fix your eyes on the light of his bearded face (2 Corinthians 4:6). Soak in the reality that God chose to have the hairs of Christ’s face extracted with human hands. Through excruciating pain God showed us, his people, that he weaves the tapestry of our lives together. In all areas of life none are small none are wasted.
It is no little thing to bring glory to God in everything. Never meaningless. Never insignificant. Always designed toward glory in God by grace. Giving us a freedom of rest in all we ever face. Because we know God is the designer of the big and small. We also know his yoke is easy and his burden light (Matthew 11:30).
If you struggle to find meaning in a difficult situation gaze on the face of Christ. See him, love him, embrace him and give God glory that Jesus had a beard.