We’ve been looking, for the past several weeks, at some comparisons between Jesus and things that grow. We saw Him as the Branch prophesied of Isaiah and Zechariah. We saw Him as the Vine, with His people attached to Him. And last week we saw Him as the lily of the valley. That reference is taken from Song of Solomon, and along with it, is our final comparison:
I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.
Song of Solomon 2:1
As we noted last week, the statement was originally penned by Solomon. Though there’s not a direct connection between these words and the life of Jesus (Solomon isn’t prophesying about Jesus here), there is certainly an allegory to be observed. The picture Solomon paints of a loving husband and wife relationship, is also seen in the spiritual relationship between Christ and His bride, the church.
Just as we view our spiritual Husband as the lily of the valley, we also see Him as the “rose of Sharon.” What does that mean?
First of all it should be noted that the “rose” of Sharon is not actually a rose at all; it’s a tulip! Solomon’s reference is likely to the tulips that grew around the plain of Sharon, which is located northwest of Jerusalem between the Samarian Hills and the Mediterranean Sea. It is a beautiful flower and vibrantly colored. Like our Lord, it’s beauty is easily seen and instantly appreciated. Consider that the valley of Sharon was home to numerous beautiful flowers, yet the Sharon rose stands out. Jesus too competes with all the attractive pleasures the world can offer, yet to see Him is to see a beauty that stands above the rest.
He alone is the best flower in the field, our rose of Sharon.