OF JESUS CHRIST
In the tenth Kontakion of the Akathist to the Theotokos is the following verse on which this article is based.
“Willing to save the world, the Ruler of all came to it spontaneously. And though as God He is our Shepherd, for us He appeared to us as a Man; and having called mankind by His own perfect Manhood, as God he hears Alleluia!”
“Called mankind by His own Perfect Manhood!”
The Lord would not appear before men unless He humbled himself to become like us, and became incarnate. Being the highest God, he lowered himself, took on our nature and became one of us, who originally came from the earth. This very close humble and wonderful intimacy of God with man was not only to set him free and bring him to salvation. This because the Lord’s will must be fulfilled which occurs when His purpose is accomplished. In the beginning of the Bible He clearly stated His final purpose when He proclaimed the reason for creation, saying: “Let us create man in our own image according to our likeness.”
Jesus Christ, Son of the Perfect Woman, the Virgin Mary, is that Perfect Man in the image and likeness of God. God’s desire is that all men become His perfect image and likeness. He began with the creation of the first man Adam, in His own image but having the potential to also become His likeness.
God went about this plan by creating all that man required, then He created Adam out of clay from the earth and breathed into him a breath of His own Spirit, thus enlivening him now as an image of God. He also gave him Eve as a helper as well as endowing him with total freedom so that he could do whatever he willed. Being in the image of God, Adam did not remain there or advance. But he fell through misuse of his freedom, and succumbing to the wiles of the woman, falling into the snare of the devil and His fall was terrible causing the punishment of the law falling upon them they would become corrupted in death. This mortality carried with it every type of evil, for Adam’s nature became sinful being severely altered.
In the fullness of time, the Logos became incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary taking to himself our flesh and our nature. Christ majestically, with His divinity hidden by His flesh appeared on the scene and spread hope and cheer wherever he went. People were delighted to hear Him and gave up much just to follow Him, for His kindness and beauty filled them with them with awe. Crowds hovered to hear His teaching and to obtain cures for their loved ones. The Godman traveled about healing and bestowing every blessing upon fallen man who He came to set free from bondage.
Christ’s blessings, included giving sight to the blind, restoring the paralytic and raising the dead and cleansing lepers. Yet His greatest blessing was the giving of himself to mankind, He willingly endured the suffering which we all deserve due to our many sins and finally He offered himself to a terrible death in sacrifice out of of His great love for each of us. That is why He should be the only objective of our lives and love, for in honoring him, the honor returns to us, obeying Him the benefits come to us, and in doing His will and emulating Him, we are rendered immortal and become deified. As the Akathist hymn says: “Calling us to salvation by His own Perfect Manhood.” He calls us with irresistible sweetness and kindness, not with authority and power. Yet He promises and threatens, and His words attract the humble and the meek, while His threats anger His enemies who seek only to destroy Him out of hatred and envy.
Christ is the holy example for our lives, for we need to acquire His perfect manhood and identify with Him, enabling us to dare to call His Father our Father who art in heaven, and heaven is where are thoughts will be – not in the glamor of this world. The Perfect Man is humble, meek, holy, the object of faith, the only hope of man and the one who demonstrated His love for us by being abused, tortured and nailed to the Cross. To share His beauty with us, Christ cried out with this plea: to behold His perfected humanity:
“Come unto me you that are heavily laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am meek and humble in my heart; and you will find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Let us rejoice in our God and His divine goodness, compassion and great mercy. His loves for us knows no bounds! How He sacrifices everything for us. What love! What beauty, What joy and happiness the Godman offers, even calling us to eat and drink Him at the divine meal of the Eucharist, which helps us take on His beauty and graciousness.
Jesus Christ is the Man above all men, standing before us as a Perfect Man. In His suffering He showed us His extreme patience and meekness. Slapped in the face, beaten with a whip and a rod, with great patience He willingly endures everything. His delightful love for us pours out into each of our hearts and will remain there forever. The Godman Christ endured misery and terrible suffering to put an end to our pain and suffering. He endured mockery to bestow honor upon us. He endured death and put death to death, enabling us to be fearless of death, for death is now our door to life to eternal .
Publius of Rome
Here is a discussion as to how Jesus appeared to men when He was preaching and teaching by Publius of Rome, describing the physical beauty of Christ.
“There lives at this time in Judea a man of singular virtue whose name is Jesus Christ, whom the barbarians esteem as a prophet, but his followers love and adore him as the offspring of the immortal God.
He calls back the dead from the graves and heals all sorts of diseases with a word or touch. He is a tall man, well-formed, and of an amiable and reverend aspect; his hair of a color that can hardly be matched, falling into graceful curls, waving about and very agreeable crouching upon his shoulders, parted on the crown of the head, running as a stream to the front after fashion of the Nazarites. His forehead high, large and imposing; his cheeks without spot or wrinkle, beautiful with a lovely red; his nose and mouth formed with exquisite symmetry; his beard, and of a color suitable to his hair, reaching below his chin and parted in the middle like a fork; his eyes bright blue, clear and serene. Look is innocent, dignified, manly and mature. In proportion of a body most perfect, and captivating; his arms and hands delectable to behold.
He rebukes with majesty, councils with mildness, His whole address whether in word or deed, being eloquent and grave. No man has seen him laugh, yet his manners are exceedingly pleasant, but he has wept frequently in the presence of men. He is temperate, modest and wise. A man for his extraordinary beauty and perfection, surpassing the children of men in every sense"
End of Publius
Although words cannot describe the extreme bountiful beauty of Christ, one thing is certain, everyone of us are called to become Christlike. It is the highest honor we can gain and the greatest honor we can offer to God. As St. Paul says, “we must become perfect men according to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” Here is the full verse.
“And He gave some, apostles, and some, prophets, some evangelists; some teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
This article shows that the main purpose of years on the earth are not only for caring of the body with its needs and pleasures, but for continually rejoicing in Christ, who witnesses our struggle and rejoices with us, also for intimate communication with God and all His friends. To take care of the body as necessary but to cultivate and sanctify both our souls and bodies which are more precious than many diamonds, and are highly honored by God who chooses our soul for His abode. Looking at Christ we should meditate on His extreme beauty, the deathless Godman, for this is the man we should strive to become.
The human soul is extremely valuable as St. James says in his Epistle: “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him, let him know that he who converts the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (James 5:20).