Here Comes The Groom!

Hallelujah! For the Lord God Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!

For the wedding of the Lamb has come,

and his bride has made herself ready.”

(Rev 19:6 & 7)

I love weddings. I love the vows, the promises made between two individuals, who from that day forward intend to live in unity, to belong to one another, to be a team. It is quite astonishing then that Jesus Christ, the Son of God to whom all authority in heaven and earth belong, should choose for his eternal partner a people like us!

Already in Revelation we have read that we are the great desire of his heart. He purchased us with his own blood, laying down his life for us just as Paul said every husband should do for his wife (Eph 4:25). Now let’s think for a moment about our love for our bridegroom. A good marriage is one where each partner lives to bless the other. What Jesus brings to this relationship is wonderful, and we accept it with humble gratitude, but what do we bring to this marriage for him?

In the beginning God said of Adam, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for (corresponding to) him.” (Gen 2:18). He then put the man into a ‘deep sleep’, opened his side, took out a piece of the man and formed for him his life partner. We can reasonably assume that God breathed into her nostrils the same God-breath of life that the man had received.

Father God has been looking for a suitable life partner for his Son. When one couldn’t be found he put his Son into the deepest of deep sleeps, death. His side was opened, and out of Jesus himself a bride was formed, and is being formed by the hand of God. She breathes the same Spirit-breath that Jesus breathes. She isn’t a dumb bimbo to hang on his arm, but as it says again and again in Revelation, she will reign with him.

Many thousands of dollars, and many hours of planning and work go into preparing a bride for her wedding day: The dress, the hair, the nails, the bridesmaids, the flowers, the catering…. It is interesting that although we, Christ’s betrothed are clearly given all we need to belong to Jesus, we also wear the ‘fine linen, bright and clean’ that is our own ‘righteous acts’. Yes, grace saves us, but a suitable partner for the Lamb has to be able to act like the Lamb too. If only the thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours spent on many modern wedding days were also reflected in the time and effort spent to prepare for a life of marriage. And this is no ordinary marriage.

When Kate Middleton said ‘Yes’ to Prince William she had to prepare not just for her wedding day, but also to be the future Queen of Great Britain. She had to make herself ready to reign with him, to learn to cope with life under the spotlight. Her marriage is one of intimate love for her husband, and we must keep coming back to that first love. Yet at the same time her marriage is (or will be) a partnership with the king. How much time and effort do we put in to making ourselves ready to reign along side the King of kings?

One of the key themes of Revelation, one that Jesus speaks to each of seven churches, is that of overcoming victory: his promises are for “The one who is victorious,” or “The one who conquers” (see Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26 & 3:5, 12 & 21). The last of these verses to the churches says:

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

This was a reminder to the churches, and therefore to us, that the trials and pressures they were facing in that moment weren’t the end, there was a greater hope, a joy set before them, a “Hallelujah!” day of rejoicing as those who stood firm in the tough times, who kept on keeping on when it would have been easier to cave in, when those who had made themselves ready would stand side by side with the King of kings and enter a whole new phase of life, reigning in the renewed earth in perfect partnership with Jesus Christ the Lord.

Hallelujah! For the Lord God Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!

For the wedding of the Lamb has come,

and his bride has made herself ready.”

(Rev 19:6 & 7)