The Bridgegroom

Over the years, as a pastor, it has been my privilege to preach and officiate at a number of weddings.  It is no accident or coincidence that the Word of God refers to the Church as the bride of Christ.  It is not as if the Father looked around on earth searching for an analogy for the relationship of his Son to the elect and said, "Aha! Marriage that's a close approximation."  No, God has purpose and intention for all his creation.  He didn't model the church after marriage.  He modeled marriage after the relationship of His Son and the Church.  The latter is the substance and the former is the shadow. The Apostle Paul speaks of this mystery in his letter to the Ephesians as he exhorts husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and wives to respect their husbands.  In Chapter 5:31-32 of that epistle he says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." 

The Apostle John exiled on the isle of Patmos has the future of the Church and her relationship to the Son revealed to him like this, 

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

Now, I have seen many brides walk down the aisle.  It is always a breathtaking sight.  The music starts, the congregation hushes in eager expectation, the doors open, all stand as the bride enters.  She is always beautiful. Radiant is the best description. I always make a point to turn my gaze for a moment to look at the bridegroom and as radiant as the bride is his face is often even more so.  Pride, joy, love, intimacy, devotion, are all beaming from the face of the man who is about to be the husband of the bride.  I have never seen a look of disappointment, or of frustration.  

In the same way scripture tells us that we will see Jesus some day.  If we are his church then we are his bride.  We have been washed clean by his sacrificial blood.  He has dressed us in radiant garments and will present us one day to the Father.  He looks on us with pride, joy, love, intimacy, and devotion.  Our bridegroom loves his bride in the most loving self-sacrificial way imaginable.  He died for her.  Rejoice in the gaze of the bridegroom today.