THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB AND HIS BRIDE
INTRODUCTION TO THE SCRIPTURE:
Marriages of Jesus’ time were typically preceded by a lengthy engagement. During this engagement the wife would have complete legal rights as a wife, but the couple would not live together or share a home together. This image is invoked as we see the long awaited marriage of the Lamb and his bride.
DISCUSSION OF THE SCRIPTURE:
The first image is of the Bride ready for her husband–Revelation 19:6-8. After all the destruction that is pictured in the previous chapters, the marriage ceremony is a welcome vision of hope, comfort, and glory.
The Bride (the church) has prepared herself for this day. It is important for us to remember that the Bride had responsibilities to keep as any modern bride would be responsible for the dress, decorations, and ceremony preparation. The bride of Christ has “made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7). She is prepared for the day. Luke 14:15-24. Someone said “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God” (Luke 14:15). Jesus told the parable of the man who gave a great banquet and invited many people, but when they received their invitations, they were all too busy.
One said, “I have bough a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused” (Luke 14:18).
One said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them Please have me excused” (Luke 14:19).
One said, “I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come” (Luke 14:20).
How sad it is that so many treat our Lord’s great invitation in the same way.
Every day God gives us the ability to live and breath. He gives us the opportunities to study and pray. God gives us people who need the Gospel. God gives us the great blessings of nature to enjoy and the greater hope of Heaven to love. Yet, when we are presented with the invitation to God’s blessings, do we not begin to make the same excuses these people of Luke 14 made?
One said, “I have a job I can’t take the time to share the Gospel with my neighbor.”
One said, “I have practice that night, I can’t come to the Gospel Meeting.”
One said, “I have married a wife and she doesn’t like to attend the Lord’s worship.”
Can they all be excused from God’s responsibilities? Who will be left to do the work? Who will be left to praise our great God if we are all excused from his service?
Not only is the wife (the church) prepared, but she is beautifully prepared in her fine clothing. “It was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure–for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints” (Revelation 19:8). Psalm 132:9 says, “Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy.” Isaiah said, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
Too many are preparing themselves to face eternity without a thread of clothes. So many live as though God expects nothing from them. Too many refuse to serve God. Too many have no righteous deeds. Too many are going to be empty handed when the rewards are distributed on the great day of God. Will there be any jewels in your crown? Will you face God with fine linen or with the blush of shame?
The second image is the bridegroom welcoming his bride–Revelation 19:11-16. This wonderful image of the victorious Christ shows us his power, majesty, and justice. He is on a white horse because He is victorious over death, victorious over sin, and victorious over the Devil. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood because He is the Word (John 1:1-14) who died and lives again. He comes with his holy host because they will gather every soul before Him (Matthew 13:36-43). His name is “King of kings, and Lord of lords” because he has been exalted to the right hand of God.
The image of the church and her Husband Christ has already been seen in the book of Ephesians. There the Lord is married to the church as his long sought after wife. Paul was able to say, “Husbands love your wives as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25-27).
INVITATION FROM THE SCRIPTURE:
Will you attend this great wedding ceremony? Where will you be when the angels welcome the bride to the new home the Christ has prepared for them to enjoy (John 14:1-4)? We pray that we will all take part in that ceremony and be brought home to our Christ.