In our daily meditations over the last few days, we have been thinking about the fact that true biblical Christianity is about a marriage God is making between His Son and all those who will enter into covenant with Him. In some mysterious way, we, the people of God, have been brought into an organic union with Christ. Jesus said, "I am the Vine, you are the branches…4Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me" (John 15:1; 4). In fact, the words "In Christ" appear 160 times in the New Testament. A marriage relationship between a man and his wife is a picture of the divine union that Christ has entered into with His bride, the people who are born-again of the Spirit (John 3:3).
Many of our wedding traditions are illustrative of the heavenly marriage. Things such as the bride taking on the last name of the bridegroom. We who are known as "Christians," have taken the name of our husband, the Lord Jesus, and the Bible says that we will bear His name on our foreheads (Revelation 22:4). The name is symbolic of the nature of Christ, and His name on our foreheads symbolize that our thought life, our minds, have been brought into alignment with the nature and character of our Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus.
At a wedding, what does the giving of rings on the finger symbolize? Perhaps, the ring speaks of the gift of eternal life that is given to the believer, due to a ring being circular and never-ending. Also in a marriage, everything that the bridegroom owns belongs to the bride. In the same way, the resources of heaven are given to the Church, the bride of Christ. All we need do is to ask Him, for He has promised, “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father” (John 14:13). He has withheld nothing from His bride. The Bible tells us that, “he has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). The bride also wears white, which speaks of purity just as the bride of Christ on her wedding day will wear fine linen, bright and clean:
6Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints (Revelation 19:6-8).
This passage above is a prophecy of what will happen at some point in the future, the Day when everything will change, and the now-prepared bride of Christ will enter into her marriage with the Son of God. If salvation and eternity is a gift (and it is), what does it mean when the passage of Scripture says that the bride has made herself ready? How do we make ourselves ready? All that is of our old nature, things that are not pleasing to our Lord, must no longer be expressed:
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires (Ephesians 4:22).
Can you imagine what it will be like for you who know Christ to be in that moment, to be part of the vast multitude shouting hallelujah to God? Imagine knowing that the fight of faith is over and that you will soon enter into the wedding celebration of the Lamb! How can anyone not want such a relationship with God as this? So loud was the sound of all those commingled voices that it sounded like "many waters;" similarly, so great will be the joy of the redeemed of the Lord. What a happy day that will be! Don't you think the joy on the face of the Lord Jesus will be great as we look upon Him on that day? He will look upon you as He beholds the result of the work He completed on the cross for His people. Keith Thomas
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