Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The Wedding of the Lamb (Revelation 19)

“The marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7).

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:1–2).

Marriage is the most intimate union between two people. In that relationship, the two are made one: the bride takes the name of her husband; they dwell joyfully with each other. The bride submits to her husband, honoring him and serving him. The husband selflessly loves the wife. While the temporal marriages of this life are a poor image of that heavenly union between Christ and the church, the earthly example provides much insight into what it will be like in heaven. Like the bride on her wedding day, the church will be beautifully arrayed in purity. Like the conjugal union between man and woman, the union of Christ and His church is sealed by a solemn and eternal promise. God has promised to dwell with His people forever—that is their glory and their joy.

Heaven will be an eternal union between Christ and His church. The espousal will be pure and free from the corruptions of sin. Even though we struggle with sin now, one day we will be free from it. Just as the engaged couple yearn for their wedding day, the church longs for that wedding feast in heaven. “Only in heaven does the striving of the ages and the longing of all the saints come to its ultimate fruition,” Gerstner wrote. “Not only are the spots and wrinkles of the bride of Christ herself removed, but the disfiguring presence of those who do not truly belong to her company is removed. Only the bride in all her loveliness is present for the wedding ceremony, which can take place only when she has been made fit for her divine husband. This is manifestly the supreme goal of the church.”

The day described by John in Revelation is the day of Christ’s final triumph over sin and death. It will be a day of feasting, and pomp, and reveling in the presence of the Lord. And unlike the marriages of this life that are separated by death, our marriage with Christ will never end as we enjoy His love and fellowship forever.

How does a bride treat her husband? She keeps herself pure, she serves him, she leaves her family to be with him, she sacrifices her own life for him, she is faithful to him, she listens to him. Continue this list, marking those areas in which you need growth. Take practical steps each day to live as an honorable bride.