“A man will leave
his father and mother
and be united to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh.
This is a great mystery:
but I speak concerning Christ
and the church.”
Ephesians 5:31-32 KJV
Sixty years ago on the 30th day of January Donna and I were married in her home church, West Center Street Baptist in Madison, SD. It was 20 degrees below zero, but our hearts were anything but cold. I sang to her “I Love You Truly” and before God and witnesses we promised each other “to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”
Marriage between a man and a woman has been God’s design from the beginning of time. As precious and meaningful as the husband and wife relationship can be, it is but a shadow of the infinitely deeper and eternal relationship between Christ and His Church (true born-again believers) - “The Bride of Christ”.
In New Testament times the Jewish custom was for the bridegroom to leave his father’s house to visit the home of his prospective bride and negotiate her dowry with her father. Once the price was paid the bride belonged to the bridegroom. However, she stayed at home and got herself ready for the wedding, while the bridegroom went back to his father’s house to prepare a place for his bride. When all was ready, the bridegroom came back to get her. Though she didn’t know when he would return, she prepared herself for the big day - continually looking for his return.
Wow, what an illustration of Christ, the bridegroom, and His bride, the Church! He came to this world to become one of us, yet without sin. Incredibly, He chose us to be His bride. Giving himself up for us on the cross He paid the dowry, making us His very own. After His resurrection as He was getting ready to return to His Father’s house, He encouraged His followers by telling them, I am going to prepare a place for you. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. Some day, He is coming back to take us, His bride, home. We don’t know when it will happen, but it will happen!! First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.
When our bridegroom comes for us, He will be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords - HALLELUJAH!!! (click on this link and let it bless your heart).