This is the fifth devotional we’ve had on the key themes in Beauty and the Beast. To see links to previous three as well as information on the rest of our Beauty and the Beast series, see our Beauty and the Beast Adventure.
A love that steps down from perfection in order to rescue wayward sinners.
A love that stands in the place of our beastly pride and offers the beauty of humility.
A love that does not shy away from our impurities but covers them with Devine perfection.
A Brave Warrior
A King is on a quest to save a lovely maiden. He is valiant, brave, and strong. The King knows his true love has been taken by the enemy and he is prepared to do whatever it takes to win her back. He finds the enemy stronghold and breaks into the dungeon to find his lost love, only to see his enemy sitting outside the bars of her cell. The King sees that his love has torn her royal garments and smeared mud on her face and hair. She insists that the rank dungeon is not that bad of a place and that he could get used to it here, as she has. The enemy? He’s not so bad once you get to know him. The enemy has even convinced her that this cold, dark existence is the best she can expect out of life.
The King’s face twists in anger as he takes in his once beautiful love and the prison she doesn’t even realize she’s in. He’s not angry at her, but at the enemy. He storms forward and confronts the enemy, vowing to free his love. The enemy smiles a hollow smile and askes why the King wants to save this woman. She’s a mess, a hollow shell of her former beauty. The King could easily do better.
The King insists that he will do anything to save her. Those are the words the enemy was hoping for. The enemy’s hands clasp the arm of the King when he asks if “anything” includes dying for her freedom. She was never the prize, the King and His throne were.
At that time, the woman brightly tells the king that he can do what he wants, but she’s going to stay put anyway. She likes it here, and he should give it a chance.
No one in their right mind would take such an offer, but that’s exactly the kind of Agape love that Christ showed on the cross. He sacrificed himself so that we would be free from the curse of death that has been laid on us all.
We cannot fully appreciate what we’ve been saved to, unless we understand what we’ve been saved from.
This thought echoes through my mind as I consider the discussions of Cruel Beauty and Till We Have Faces. Protagonists Oural and Nix face many challenges, both inside and outside of themselves, and it is only by discovering the sin in their hearts that they realize how in need of redeeming love they are.
In the story of Beauty and the Beast, the Beast knows he is unlovable, but beyond his hope, someone enters into his life and shows him kindness, and eventually love. We can only truly grasp the scope of Christ’s love for us when we grasp our severe need for Him.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
We as humans were born into dark slavery to sin. We needed someone to step into our mess and redeem us. In the garden of Eden, Adam traded eternity with God for his own pleasure, and we as humans have been running towards our own gratification ever since. Jesus steps into our path as the second Adam – one without blemish or sin and reverses the curse of sin on us through His sacrificial love. He experienced judgment for us, and took our place so that we would not have to bear the full weight of our sin against God. Jesus essentially killed the curse of death on humankind, and after we acknowledge our desperate need for a Savior, He offers the gift of eternal life with Him. He offers that free gift of eternal life to those who are willing to lay down their own desires and follow Him.
So this is love.