How, and in what way is Christ beloved of God? First as Christ is God, the Son of God, the engraven image of his Father, so he is primum amabile, the first lovely thing that ever was. When the Father loves Him, he loves Himself in Him, so he loves Him as God, as the second person [of the Trinity], as his own image and character. Secondly, God loves Christ as a human being. Christ is the most excellent creature in the world. He was conceived, fashioned and framed in His mother’s womb by the Holy Spirit. It is said in Hebrews 10:5 that God gave him a body. God the Father by the Holy Spirit fashioned and framed and fitted him with a body. Therefore God loves Christ as His own workmanship. Finally, God loves and delights in Christ as our mediator, one who is both God and man. God decreed and sealed Christ to that office, therefore he loves and delights in him as the mediator of his own appointing and ordaining, to be our king, and priest and prophet. And He loves and delights in him, in regard of the execution of this office both in doing and suffering.
(Source: A Description of Christ)
A wonderful threefold description of the love of God for Christ. If we replace the word love with beauty, we can also see that Christ has a three-fold beauty. The beauty of God in his deity, the beauty of his humanity, and the beauty of his mediatorial office and work. The beauty of Christ as the God and man, is a unique beauty that no one else posses. Not even God the Father and God the Spirit share in this beauty. It is a beauty on account of His office and the execution of that office.
Sibbes later on points out why it is important for us to know God loves Christ in this way. When we think of the beauty of Christ it gives comfort and confidence that God accepts us, because he accepts his beautiful Beloved. When God stops loving Christ, he will stop loving those who belong to Christ. We and Christ make one mystical beautiful Christ. This is our comfort in this life when we are beset by sin. We are ugly but Christ is the beautiful beloved of God. And it is on account of His beauty that we are accepted and loved by God. It does not matter matter what we are in ourselves, but what we are in Christ. God loves us with that inseparable love which he loves Christ as God, man and mediator!
Keeping this amazing truth front and centre of our minds helps us to grow in loving Christ as our beautiful God, man and mediator.
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