We are one week and one day from the wedding of our first daughter, Elizabeth. Like her name means, we have consecrated her to God before she was born. We have prayed for the young man who would be her husband. How thrilling to meet him and see God’s answer to our prayers.
A wedding of someone you love serves as an important signpost to look ahead to an even more glorious event. The Apostle John in the Revelation calls it “the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Listen in to Revelation 19:6-9:
6Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. 7″Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 8It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb ‘” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”
This consummating event of human history reminds us of our true identity… who we really are if we have come to embrace Jesus as Savior. We are the bride of Christ. As the bride of Christ, we are the objects of His infinite, eternal, unfailing, persistent love: “Jesus Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). We are perfectly known, radically loved, and completely accepted by our heavenly bridegroom, Jesus Christ.
Not only are we his beloved bride, but all who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white. A day is coming when you will be presented to Jesus as His radiant bride, without the stain of sin or the wrinkle of guilt or any other blemish of shame. O how I hope that causes your pulse to quicken and your heart to leap for joy.
This passage also reminds us of who Jesus is. HE is our bridegroom – this one called the Lamb. The Lamb who was slain. The Lamb who is the Lord of lords and the King of kings.
As a bridegroom delights in his bride, as the wife of his youth, we rejoice that our Lord delights and rejoices over us. For He paid dearly to take us as his bride. Jesus sacrificially served us at an immense cost to himself.
This passage also reminds us of the the overarching objective of our earthly marriages. Our marriages must have one driving passion, one overarching objective: Preparing ourselves for this ultimate wedding day! The text says that “His bride has made herself ready.” And our text calls us to make ourselves ready for that day.
How are you to prepare yourself for that day when you will be everlastingly married to your Lord? Two ways… proper attire, purposeful service. Brides give lots of attention and thought to what they wear on their wedding day. We must be properly clothed for Christ’s wedding day.
PROPER ATTIRE: Our wedding garment is a gift from our bridegroom. We read, “it was given to her” a white linen robe. Revelation 7:14 reminds us that the bride has been cleansed and made pure by the “blood of the Lamb.”
There is nothing to attract Him to us except His love for us. Only those who acknowledge their lack of fitness for such a wedding and who can in no way compensate the bridegroom for his grace are allowed in to the feast.
Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf said it perfectly in his hymn: ‘Jesus, thy blood and righteousness. My beauty are, my glorious dress. Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed, With joy shall I lift up my head.’
Secondly, we prepare for this wedding day by gladly investing ourselves in the purposeful service of our bridegroom. Verse 8 tells us that the bride was given fine, clean linen which stands for “the righteous acts of the saints.” Our purposeful service involves us in compelling others by our lives and by our words to respond to the invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb. We are to actively seek out those good works which God has prepared in advance for us to do.
There is a looming danger especially in light of the culture in which we live. We are prone to become obsessed with and preoccupied with something or someone else other than our heavenly bridegroom. Many invited guests are simply too busy with profits and pleasures. “The care of this world” (Luke 14:18), “the deceitfulness of riches” (Luke 14:19), and “the pleasures of this life” (Luke 14:20), lure many away from devotion to the heavenly bridegroom
Have you accepted the invitation to this wedding by turning from trusting yourself and placing your faith in Jesus Christ alone to rescue you and make you part of His bribe? Do you have the assurance that you are going to be at this wedding?
I am convinced that my daughter and her fiance have assurance. I am excited for them about that more than their own wedding day. They make no claims to perfection or having it all together, but their utmost desire on their wedding day is that each of their friends would grow to love and trust more fully our heavenly bridegroom. I too want you to be there at this wedding feast.
The prophet Isaiah describes all that our Lord will do on that day: On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation” (25:6-9).