Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Tale of Two Marriages

I had the great opportunity to witness two of my best friends and
brother and sister in Christ join together in the union of marriage.

I love weddings. I used to consider them boring and sappy,
but since repenting and trusting Christ that has changed greatly.


Because marriage is such a beautiful picture of grace and Christ and the Church.

The Bible actually begins and ends with a wedding.

The very first wedding is found in Genesis 2.

Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife:
and they shall be one flesh.

This is the only covenant between man that was created before sin.
So now this is a perfect union between imperfect people.

But not only does Scripture begin with marriage. It also ends with a marriage.
In Revelation 19 we see the ultimate marriage feast. For there we see the feast of the Lamb.

Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad, and let us give the glory unto him:
for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright [and] pure:
for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. And he saith unto me, Write,
Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
And he saith unto me, These are true words of God.
And I fell down before his feet to worship him. And he saith unto me,
See thou do it not: I am a fellow-servant with thee and with thy brethren
that hold the testimony of Jesus: worship God; for the testimony of Jesus
is the spirit of prophecy. And I saw the heaven opened; and behold,
a white horse, and he that sat thereon called Faithful and True;
and in righteous he doth judge and make war. And his eyes [are] a flame of fire,
and upon his head [are] many diadems; and he hath a name written which no one
knoweth but he himself. And he [is] arrayed in a garment sprinkled with blood:
and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven
followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white [and] pure.
And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations:
and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness
of the wrath of God, the Almighty. And he hath on his garment and on his thigh a name written,
Rev. 19:7-16

Here we see the great wedding as Christ finally comes and takes His Bride, the Church.

This is the culminating celebration of the gospel.

Christ comes clothed not in a tuxedo, but a white robe dipped in blood.

Whose blood?

First, it is His own blood that He shed upon the cross. It is His blood that bought His Bride out of the wrath of the Father. This blood is our propitiation of His bride who sold herself into whoredom go after other gods. This is the blood that covers the Bride in crimson to make her pure before the Groom.

Second, intermingled with His own blood there we will also find the blood of the martyrs of the Bride. Those who stood before wicked men and were told choose your Lord or your life and they, through the power of the Holy Spirit, declared the choose Christ and in Him Life everlasting. And as they were cut down and their blood flowed freely they built up the great foundation of the Church.

So there stands the Bride Groom in His robe dipped in blood waiting on His Bride (actually we as the Bride wait on Him but you get the idea).

And the we see the Bride entering. Her beauty is extraordinary! She is strong an full of grace. She has weathered many attacks from other would be suitors. She even at times had left her Lover for others, but His kindness drew Her back.

There she enters clothed in purity. She is dressed in "righteous acts of the saints." All those deeds done on earth simply out of a loving obendiece to her Lover. Those deeds that were hidden in are shown not in pride as bright reflection of her love.

But her clothes are not in truth her own. They belong to her Groom. They are clothed in His righteousness.

This is the great hope for Christians. For the Bride who has seen her sin and repented and turned to Jesus Christ, her Lover and has trusted in Him alone. Just as any bride would submit to her husband and trust him to provide so also the Church trusts Christ alone for her salvation.

Oh Christian, as we wait upon our Lover to return let submit now and do all that we can to serve Him and build up the Bride.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come

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