December 28, 2020. Day 363: His Bride has made herself ready.

Revelation 19:6-8. Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah!
For the Lord our God
    the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
    and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
    and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
    with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

Our relationship to God and to Christ are described in many different ways in scripture. Some might be a little less flattering, like he is the potter and we are the clay, or he is the shepherd and we are the sheep. But as we progress in Christ we find that we relate to God with ever increasing glory. From clay to sheep, but then from sheep to servants. In Christ, we are servants of God and slaves to his righteousness.

But servant of God is still not the heights of our glory and grace in Christ. Jesus himself said “No longer do I call you servants, but now I call you friends.” And as if our friendship with God is not enough, we have been brought even deeper into God’s love and kindness as his own adopted sons and daughters – the brothers and sisters of Christ. Jesus is the better older brother that sought us, found us, and brought us home to Dad.

Surely this adoption into the family of God, sharing his divine nature and Christ’s own inheritance, is as great a relationship as we could possibly imagine. Surely our son-ship is the height of intimacy with God.

No. Son-ship is not the mountain top experience where Revelation 21 finds us at the end of all things. When the smoke clears and Christ is exalted, what then is the consummation of our relationship with him?

Let us rejoice and exult
    and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
    and his Bride has made herself ready;

Marriage. We are the Bride of the Lamb. As humanity began in the garden with a wedding so too it will begin anew with a wedding. The wedding of Christ to his Church. Jesus finally becoming “one flesh” with us. One spirit. One in intimacy. One in impact. One in all his righteousness.

it was granted her to clothe herself
    with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

By grace it will be granted to us both individually and corporately to clothe ourselves in purity. In his righteous deeds. As his bride, we will finally be what we have failed to be all along – perfect. This is our destiny.

But this isn’t just about us finally behaving, or finally getting our act together. It’s about love. It’s about the romance of the ages. It’s about desire so strong and so pure that it is invincible.

The Princess Bride: A tale of true love.

Yes, today we are Christ’s cheating, adulterous fiancé (James 4:4). Like Hosea’s Gomer, we too often run from his grace. We chase other lovers. We move in with them thinking they are the one that is supporting us, clothing us, feeding us. But in reality it is has been Jesus all along.

And like righteous Hosea, Jesus refuses to put us away. As God with Israel, Christ has rejected the notion of divorce. Rather, in covenant love, he daily takes us into the wilderness to woo us at his oasis of compassion and care. Like the shepherd of the Song of Songs, he invites us to his garden of grace to enjoy his perfect, unfailing love. A love unlike anything from this world. A love that overcomes all our fears and all our faithlessness.

The end of days vision of “to live is Christ” is not a one of a potter molding clay, or of a shepherd guiding sheep. It is not a master commanding his servants to begin their eternal labors. It is not even a vision of a doting Father enjoying his children as they sit on his lap.

The end of days is two star crossed lovers, emerging from the wilderness, leaning on each other.

Song 8:5. Who is that coming up from the wilderness,
    leaning on her beloved?

The end of days is knowing that every desire of your heart will be eternally satisfied by Jesus’ desire for you.

Song 7:10. I am my beloved’s,
    and his desire is for me.

The end of days is two souls sharing a love so powerful that nothing can ever destroy it. Not even death.

Song 8:6. Set me as a seal upon your heart…
   for love is strong as death.
   
The end of days is us and Jesus both finally equally righteous. Both finally equally in love. Both finally equally safe in each other’s arms.

Song 6:13. I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.

You

How do you see your relationship to God: clay, sheep, son, bride?

You in Christ

Christ loves you so much he would literally share a spirit with you. How does this make you feel?

Christ in you

How might your betrothal to Jesus change how you live today?

Playlist: Bride of Christ

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s