I. A CROWN OF GLORY AND A DIADEM OF BEAUTY
Isaiah 28:5 says, "In that day Jehovah of hosts / Will become a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people." In this verse Christ is revealed as a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty. We need to consider the difference between a crown and a diadem. We may think that these are the same, but these items are not in apposition in verse 5. There is a conjunction between them—a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty. This is Isaiah’s marvelous writing. A crown is like a hat or turban, whereas the diadem is the most beautiful, glorious part of the crown. It is the headband. Generally speaking, a crown signifies glory, but its beauty is in its diadem, which may be full of jewels and precious stones. The diadem is the beauty of the glorious crown.
Christ will be a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty to the remnant of Israel, God’s chosen people, in the age of restoration after all the dealings of God. He will be His chosen people’s glorification. Glory and beauty are two distinct things. Something may be very glorious but not that beautiful. Christ will be both glory and beauty to His elect people.
We need to remember that the age of grace is a miniature and a foretaste of the coming age of restoration. Today we enjoy a foretaste of Christ as our crown and diadem. Regretfully, many do not feel glorious to tell people that they are Christians. Some Christians may talk about other persons or things in a glorious way, but when they come to the subject of Christ, they may feel shameful. This is not right. When we talk about Christ and when we tell people that we are Christians, we should consider that Christ is our crown and diadem, our glory and beauty.
I experienced Christ in this way about fifty years ago when Japan invaded China and I was imprisoned by the Japanese army. On the one hand, they shamed me, judged me, and tortured me. On the other hand, they respected and regarded me because I behaved as a Christian. Paul said in the book of Philippians, while he was imprisoned in Rome, that he had the earnest expectation and hope not to be put to shame but to magnify Christ (1:20). Paul magnified Christ to such an extent that even some in Caesar’s household became believers in Christ (4:22). In Paul’s experience, he had Christ as a crown with a diadem. We should feel glorious that we are Christians. When we are defeated, we feel ashamed, but when we repent and receive the dispensing Christ in a fresh way, we feel glorious.
(Life-Study of Isaiah, Chapter 43, by Witness Lee)