Song of Solomon 2:1 – I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. (KJV)
Early in my martial arts career, I learned about the Samurai choosing the cherry blossom as his symbol because it had no thorns. The absence of thorns was to highlight the lack of deception. Being totally candid and brutally honest was considered a virtue.
However, if you read the history of feudal Japan, you find that they were speaking of an ideal that none was able to reach. The feudal warrior could be guilty of extreme brutality and deception, even to the point of hiring Ninja to commit acts of barbarism on which the warrior did not wish to dirty his hands. The feudal wars of Japan could get quite vicious.
However, Jesus Christ fits the ideal of a virtuous man flawlessly. Poets and songwriters, beginning with Solomon, refer to the Christ as the beautiful Rose of Sharon. The Rose of Sharon has no thorns and neither does Jesus Christ. Our Lord is the only man ever to walk this earth totally honestly, with no deceptions.
The warrior talked about dying an honourable death during his prime. Jesus died a horrible death for our sins, crucified between two thieves. The Rose of Sharon does not die each year, like many plants, but blooms anew. Our beautiful "Rose of Sharon" died once, but now he lives forever, as our advocate in the presence of the Father.
Prayer: Father, may we never forget that none is virtuous but Jesus, and that we are saved, not by our virtue, but by the virtue of Jesus Christ. Amen.