Communion with God (15)

A summary with best bits of John Owen’s book continues:

What do we learn from the description of Christ as ” white and ruddy”? (Song of Solomon 5:10)

He is white in the glory of his Deity, and ruddy in the preciousness of his humanity. Whiteness (if I may so say) is the complexion of glory. In that appearance of the Most High, the “Ancient of days,” Dan. 7: 9, it is said, “His garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool;” —and of Christ in his transfiguration, when he had on him a mighty lustre of the Deity, “His face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light,” Matt. 17:2; which, in the phrase of another evangelist, is, “White as snow, so as no fuller on earth can white them,” Mark ix. 3. It was a divine, heavenly, surpassing glory that was upon him, Rev. 1:14. Hence the angels and glorified saints, that always behold him, and are fully translated into the image of the same glory, are still said to be in white robes. His whiteness is his Deity, and the glory thereof.

He is also ruddy in the beauty of his humanity. Man was called Adam, from the red earth whereof he was made. The word here used points him out as the second Adam, partaker of flesh and blood, because the children also partook of the same, Heb.2:14. The beauty and comeliness of the Lord Jesus in the union of both these in one person, shall afterward be declared.

He is white in the beauty of his innocence and holiness, and ruddy in the blood of his oblation. Whiteness is the badge of innocence and holiness. It is said of the Nazarites, for their typical holiness, “They were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk,” Lam. 4: 7. And the prophet shows us that scarlet, red, and crimson, are the colours of sin and guilt; whiteness of innocence, Isa. 1:18. Our Beloved was “a Lamb without blemish and without spot,” 1 Pet. 1:19.“He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth,” 1 Pet. 2: 22. He was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,” Heb. 7:26; as afterward will appear. And yet he who was so white in his innocence, was made ruddy in his own blood; drenched all over in his own blood. And morally, by the imputation of sin, whose colour is red and crimson. “God made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin,” 2 Cor. 5:21. He who was white, became ruddy for our sakes, pouring out his blood an oblation for sin. This also renders him graceful: by his whiteness he fulfilled the law; by his redness he satisfied justice. “This is our Beloved, O ye daughters of Jerusalem.”He is white in love and mercy unto his own; red with justice and revenge towards his enemies, Isa. 63:3; Rev. 19: 13.

John Owen, Puritan.


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