Isaiah the prophet says Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, was physically unattractive. There is no mistake in what the inspired prophet meant when he described the physical looks of the Son of God. Listen to the prophet's words:
"...like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him." (Isaiah 53:2).The new Hollywood motion picture entitled Son of God is definitely not faithful to the Scriptures in the physical presentation of the Son of God. Jesus on the screen looks like a cross between Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp. Watching "Son of God" in a theater might make young ladies wish to "kiss the Son" (Psalm 2:12) physically, rather than to embrace Him in faith. In our literal society, where the visual visceral always seems to trump eternal realities, one might walk away from the move Son of God being more enraptured with the good looks of Jesus than the good news of Jesus' Kingdom.
Lest you say my objection to the beauty of Jesus is petty, let me give you three reasons why it is important we understand "he had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him."
(1). In the real Son of God we have the "fullness of the Deity" in bodily form, and since both "males and females" are made in the image of God, the idea that God looks like Charlton Heston of the 1950's, or Burt Reynolds of the 1960's, or Robert Redford of the 1970's, or Sylvester Stallone of the 1980's, or George Clooney of the 1990's, or Brad Pitt of the 2000's, is to miss the glory that the Son of God represents in His body every human being from the beginning of time, including the weak, the deformed, the emasculated, and the ugly--both male and female. God is spirit, and when He chose to inhabit a human body prepared as a Substitute for all mankind, He chose a body with no beauty.
(2). God humbled Himself and became a human being, not for the glory of what man seeks in this life, but for the eternal glory of what only God can give in this life and the next. The "life of God in the soul of man" is the greatest gift any man or woman can be given. This life has nothing to do with external beauty, which fades, but rather an inner beauty which is independent of facial features and bodily perfections. One would hope that Christians understand it is the inner beauty of the Son of God--the very life of God--that is needed by each of us. Were Christians to long for the inner beauty of Christ, then we would be more concerned with justice over jaundice, mercy over make-up, and our attitude over our abs.
(3). It is what the Son of God gives to us that forms the beauty of His life, not how the Son of God looks to us. Again, the Son of God movie, by all accounts, will faithfully represent the life, death and resurrection of God's Son, but when the Son of God lived and died for us he looked "like a root out of dry ground." Those of us in Oklahoma understand both dry ground and a root plucked from dry ground. The skin of the root is brittle, the root is deformed in its looks, and compared to other roots from fertile, wet ground, there is absolutely nothing special about it. The message conveyed by the good news of Jesus Christ is that God is in love with those who have little in this life that attracts others to them in terms of beauty or power, but He is able to transform each of us into a person with the inner qualities of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
I realize that Hollywood cannot make a movie with a leading actor who is ugly. However, I would hope that Christians would not be duped into believing that their Savior looked like the actor portraying Him in the movie Son of God. It might be wise for those of us who are a part of American evangelical Christianity to at least acknowledge that the Son of God movie is more cultural than biblical in the presentation of Jesus Christ's looks.
It is faith in Christ's substitutionary life, death and resurrection, as well as a belief that the same power which raised the Son of God from the grave can actually transform me into the beautiful Son of God -- on the inside--that makes the good news of the gospel of Jesus such really good news.