Zechariah 7 [Read]
Zechariah 8 [Read]
Zechariah 9 [Read]
Revelation 19 [Read]
Marriage is one of the few things God instituted before the fall of mankind through Adam and Eve (Gen 2). Therefore, it’s rather appropriate for God to consummate his redemption plan as unfolded in the Bible with a wedding of the Lamb and his bride (Rev 19:7, 21:9). In order to unpack the rich meaning of this beautiful and utmost important analogy, we need to understand what marriage means and encompasses in the tradition of Jewish people.
A Jewish marriage traditionally consists of two parts: betrothal and wedding. Betrothal is similar to but much more formal than the engagement in our culture, for it is considered a binding agreement that must not be broken. Even for a man as manipulative as Laban, he still honored his agreement with Jacob (Gen 29:15-30). With such agreement, the groom is to give bride price for the betrothal, which can be items (1Sam 18:27) or services (Gen 29:20), and the two are considered legally married from this point on. During the period between betrothal and wedding, the bride is to get herself ready for the coming of the groom. There will be a great feast for the wedding, and the couple will then live together ever after.
The beauty of this analogy to our salvation is clear. Our Lord Jesus Christ has paid the bride price by dying on the cross for our sins, and all those who have been chosen by the Father from the Creation (Rev 17:8) are bound to him by this betrothal. This by no means diminishes in any way the atoning aspect of the cross, but simply adds to it the beautiful layer of love and loyalty from both sides. As the bride waiting for the groom to come for the wedding, we are to get ready for the big day. On that day, we need to wear the “fine linen, bright and clean” for the wedding (19:8). It’s important to note that such “righteous acts of the saints” was not earned by ourselves, but was given to us to wear through grace (19:8). Indeed, all is received and there is nothing to boast (1Cor 4:7, Eph 2:9). As surely as the groom shall come to bring the bride home, our Lord shall return to bring us to the heavenly home where we shall be with him forever. Indeed, “blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” and “those are true words of God” (19:9). Amen!
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