“Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.’
“It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, ‘Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, ‘These are true words of God.’” (Rev 19:6-9)
It was the first wedding for one of our grandchildren. Wesley asked her uncle Nathan to do the wedding and she wanted grandpa to bring a blessing. Here we are on the platform, Nathan and myself, and the groom. The groomsmen and bridesmaids are in place. All we needed was the bride.
The bridal music began and suddenly everyone’s gaze is fixed on the top of the plantation stairs. There she was. I think my heart literally skipped a beat. But I don’t think it was my heart only. All eyes were transfixed. Never had I seen a more beautiful bride. (All brides are beautiful.) There was our granddaughter Wesley with her raven black hair at the top of the stairs. The evening sun was lowering and its rays seemed fixed on our grandchild. It was pure radiance.
It was at that time that a thought rose up in my mind. My mind went to the bride of Christ. No, I wasn’t calling Wesley the bride of Christ. It was the scene. The tears began to fill my eyes. It was a moment of heaven as I stood transfixed with pure love in my heart. How I long for the day when we shall be joined fully with Jesus in our heavenly home.
Anyway, when Wesley and Joshua stood before me, the first words I spoke were, “Wesley, you are so beautiful.” Then I began to share the blessings of the Lord over them.
Yes, it was a family moment. My oldest son, Nathan, performed the wedding. My youngest son, André, gave the bride away.
(By the way, how do you give your daughter away? I only have one daughter, and I refuse to give her away.)
Before I go any further, there is one more picture to share. Here are our two great-grandchildren Aiden and Cadence. Like everyone else, Aiden was feeling the moment.
Well, that brings me to the most beautiful story ever told. It is about…
The mystery of the Lamb’s marriage
In all that the Bible has it is important to bear in mind that it is both a book of redemption and a book of marriage. The Bible opens its pages with a marriage and the book closes with the marriage of the Lamb and His Bride. And the story of redemption is interwoven throughout its pages. The bridal price was paid at the cross. (Called the ‘ketubah’ in ancient Israel.)
And so we take up our name ‘Christian.’ We take to ourselves the new covenant representative title of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. The prophet Isaiah said that God’s people would be given a new name. The apostle Peter said that we are to glorify God in the name Christian. It is important to understand this. Anything else a believer may wish to call himself is of little importance. Unless you can call yourself a Christian, you have not fully identified with the Christ of God in a proper way.
“If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.” (1Pe 4:14-16)
Did you catch it? We Christians have taken the name of Christ to ourselves. This is because we are espoused to the Lord Jesus. We are to glorify God in the name Christian.
Let me say it another way – The Baptist Church did not die for you. Nor the Catholic Church, not the Pentecostal Church, nor the Episcopalian Church, and so on. Those designations are meaningless when it comes to who believers really are. We are Christians. So, why don’t we began to drop all the other titles and simply say, “I am a Christian.”
A marriage covenant of the Spirit
Now for the heart of the matter. The new covenant is a marriage covenant of the Spirit and not of the letter. The letter was written on stone. The new covenant is a love letter of Christ written in our hearts. In the new covenant our hearts are filled with the very presence of Jesus Christ. Who is adequate for this? The mystery of our espousal to Jesus Christ is beyond words.
The apostle said it well enough:
“… being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (2Co 3:3)
“Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2Co 3:5-6)
Take note that the essence of our covenant in Christ is found in the ‘new.’ New covenant believers are given a new ability to live in and experience the very love of God. Everything in the new covenant is new, not renewed, or refurbished, or modified. It is entirely new.
A marriage based on blessings not curses
The Old Covenant was also a marriage covenant but it had curses attached to it. It ended in a death. The new covenant has no curses. In the new covenant every believer’s life is overseen by, indwelt by, enriched by, guided by, corrected by, and governed by the Holy Spirit. It is a covenant of life. It is a covenant of love.
The new covenant is a covenant of forgiveness and mercy. It is a covenant where all believers are guaranteed a future together with Christ. Upon each believer’s heart is placed a redeeming seal of love. The seal cannot be broken. God allows no separation from His love for us in Christ.
The new covenant overrules death. The new covenant is a covenant where no believer can ever received a damnatory sentence. This is what the statement means, which says,
“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law [the new covenant marriage contract and all its spiritual ramifications] of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law [former marriage covenant with its curses] of sin and death.” (Rom8:1,2)
So, there you have it in short measure.
As for my granddaughter, Wesley. Well she is the first of fifteen grandchildren. We have fourteen more to see at the altar of wedding. I’ll probably enjoy an epiphany [a divine manifestation] experience with each wedding. But who knows — Hopefully our journey to our heavenly home will be in the short run.
In the meantime here is a song for your meditation —
In Christ always,