|Cistus Creticus - Rose of Sharon.|
by KYLE BUTT
The song leader stands before the congregation and announces the number of the next hymn. As you turn the pages, you quickly realize that you know the song—"Jesus, Rose of Sharon." But if you are anything like most of the people singing, truth be told, you do not know what the term "Rose of Sharon" means. So, what does it mean?
This may come as a shock, but the phrase is used only once in the entire Bible, and it does not refer to Jesus. In Song of Solomon 2:1, Solomon’s wife describes herself as the "rose of Sharon." From her description, we can see that it is a complimentary term that expresses beauty.
The word Sharon (also spelled Saron) means a level place or plain, and is found in numerous verses in the Bible, including Acts 9:35 and 1 Chronicles 27:29. In God’s Word, the term is used to describe one of the largest plains in all of the land of Palestine. You can locate this valley by looking just north of the city of Joppa on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
From what we know about the place, the Sharon valley was a fertile plain that was home to many beautiful flowers. Isaiah 35:2 lists Sharon in a context discussing blooming plants and describes the valley as "excellent." Sharon was renowned for its majesty and beauty, but what about its "rose?"
A true rose, like the one sweethearts exchange on Valentine’s day, is probably not what the Bible calls the "rose of Sharon," since these flowers are very uncommon in Palestine. In fact, although no one can say for certain which flower is the actual "rose of Sharon," many scholars think the best guess is the cistus (also known as the rock-rose). The cistus blooms in various parts of the land of Palestine, and in ancient times was known for its soothing aroma and pain-relieving qualities.
No one knows for sure when or why the term "rose of Sharon" was given to Jesus. But some reasons do make good sense. Christ’s healing powers and pain-relieving actions were similar to certain traits of the rock-rose. Is it any wonder that the "Great Physician," Who came to physically heal the sick and spiritually take away the plague of sin from the world, should be given the name of a flower known for its sweet aroma and pain-relieving qualities?
Jesus as the Rose of Sharon
By Mike Bradley
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The words "rose of Sharon" comes out of the Old Testament in the Song of Solomon. The verse reads:
"I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys." (Solomon 2:1)
Here are some facts about this verse and how it may be related to Jesus.
1. Nowhere in the New Testament is Jesus actually referred to as the rose of Sharon. However, He is "symbolically" referred to as the rose of Sharon.
2. You are right about Sharon being a place. Sharon is a plain - it is one of the largest valley-plains in all of Palestine. Back at the time of Solomon, it was considered a wild, fertile plain that had a lot of beautiful flowers in it. Sharon was supposed to have been known for its beauty and majesty back in those days.
3. The person saying she is the "rose of Sharon" in the above verse was a Shulamite woman who apparently was Solomon's bride.
4. Here is the reason that I think people like to use the analogy of Jesus being the Rose of Sharon. The New Testament refers to Jesus as the Bridegroom and the Church as His Bride. This tells us right here that God is using the "lover" analogy to describe the relationship that He wants with us and that He also wants us to have with His Son.
However, in the above verse, the person saying she is the rose of Sharon is a woman, not a man. Jesus is obviously referred to as "male" since He is always referred to as "He" in the Bible. The rose is supposed to be considered the most "perfect" of all flowers. You will notice that Jesus is symbolically referred to as the rose of Sharon. Jesus is perfect in His God nature. He thus can be considered the "actual" rose of Sharon since He is totally perfect within His own nature - just like the rose is supposed to be considered the most "perfect" of all flowers.
Normally in a husband-wife or boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, it is the male who gives roses to the wife or girlfriend. Since Jesus is considered the Bridegroom in His relationship with His church, it would thus be Jesus coming to us to give us the flowers. However, in this case, God may be going one step further in allowing this analogy to be made of His Son.
I feel like God may be trying to tell us that Jesus will go one step further. Instead of Jesus being the one who would "give" us the flowers as we have in our normal human relationships, Jesus is actually referred to as the flower itself! And with the rose being the most perfect of all flowers, God is telling us that His Son Jesus is the Rose of Sharon rather than just having Him be the One to just give us this rose flower due to His perfect nature and perfect love that He has for all of us.
Women love flowers. They love the way they look and smell - especially roses. I feel God wants us to have realization of how special His Son Jesus is to us and He is using the rose flower to compare His Son with so we can truly appreciate the beauty and perfection of Jesus and the perfect love that He has for each and every one of us. Bottom line - Jesus is perfect love just as the rose is the most perfect of all flowers in its looks, beauty and smell.
By using the rose flower as a "visual symbolism" of Jesus' love for us, we can better appreciate or "see" what God is trying to tell us in the personal love relationship that He wants to establish with each and every one of us. He wants us to realize how "special" His love is for us and that He wants more than anything to be able to enter into this personal love relationship with each one of us.
The above is my own personal opinion on what this analogy is referring to. I've always had a good witness that God the Father does approve of us using the Rose of Sharon to symbolize His Son's love for us even though it is not actually stated per
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