The Marriage of the Lamb Has Come!
O Lord Jesus, my living Savior and Lord, as I enter into Your presence this Easter day for worship, fill my heart with faith, my lips with praise, and my life with joy! Send Your Spirit to renew and refresh me and my fellow worshipers with the truths of Your gospel Word. May the fact of Your resurrection remove any and all fear from our hearts, so that we might confess You with boldness, knowing that You are beside us to guide, direct, and bless us! Amen.
Part I: Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, bothsmall and great!” And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For theLord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB HAS COME….” WCE
Part II: “THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB HAS COME, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” PDN
In Christ Jesus, Who was raised from the dead to be our living Savior, Lord, and Bridegroom, dear fellow redeemed:
We have been reminded of the fact of the resurrection. Jesus Christ died on Good Friday, but three days later arose from the dead! That fact is the historic basis of our Christian faith. The apostle Paul assures us that “if Christ is not risen (as many in our world indeed claim), then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty…, but now (he then boldly proclaims) Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:14, 20). Because Jesus arose and is now alive, we have a future beyond this life, beyond death, and beyond the grave! That future is to occupy “new heavens and a new earth in which (the apostle Peter says) righteousness dwells” (2 Pet. 3:13). Consequently, it is only right and proper that we rejoice in and give glory to our living Savior and Lord—the Lamb worthy of our praise!
Yes, and as we have been told as revealed by the Revelation given to John: THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB HAS COME! How ought we react and respond to that news? The Scriptures describe the Church, which is made up of every believing child of God including you and me, as Christ’s bride. In Revelation 21 we are told that an angel came to John with an invitation: “‘Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God” (Rev. 21:9b-10). The New Jerusalem is the Church, which is you, me, and all believers in Christ. At the same time the Scriptures describe us believers as guests “called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Let us, therefore, prepare for Him both as His bride and as His guest!
Our text tells us: “The marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” There are so many things that a bride must do as she prepares for her wedding in this world. Some of those things are done months in advance—the booking of a reception hall, the choosing of attendants, the listing of guests, and the purchase of a gown. There are also things that a bride will do on the day of her wedding—the bathing of her body, the fixing of her hair, the application of her make-up, and the putting on of her wedding gown. She does all of this, so that she will be just perfect for the man of her dreams—the man with whom she wants to spend the rest of her life. Jesus in this vision suggests that even as we prepare ourselves for weddings here, we ought to prepare ourselves for our marriage to Him, for He is the One with whom we want to spend all of eternity!
How do we do that? It is here that we must speak of grace, for it is that undeserved love of God which takes us fallen sinners, cleanses us through the work of Jesus, and declares us to be saints. Listen to the words of Paul as he addresses husbands regarding their relationships with their wives: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not have spot or wrinkle or any such thing” (Eph. 5:25-27). Paul points out in that same section of Scripture that God intends the husband/wife relationship to illustrate the type of relationship Christ desires and has created with each and every one of us believers. It is Christ who has cleansed us with His own blood, even as it is Christ’s gift of baptism and the promises of His Word which bring us to and keep us in the faith.
Consequently, we are told that it has been “granted” to us to wear the gown of “fine linen, clean and bright.” In other words, in our celestial marriage to Christ, we do not have to buy the wedding gown, but it is gifted to us! What is it? We are told that the “fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” The words “righteous acts” could be more clearly translated “righteous verdict” of the saints, referring to God’s declaration that we have been forgiven for Jesus’ sake, and that His righteousness is now attributed to us. That accords with the beautiful words of Isaiah: “My soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10).
Having been given the righteousness of Christ, but yet being troubled by the presence of our sinful flesh, what ought we to do in this life as we await our Bridegroom? John reminds us in his 1st Epistle that “we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3). Let us, my dear friends, strive for purity and so prepare for Christ as His bride!
We are also told, however: “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” We are described in Scripture as both the bride and a guest. How ought we prepare for the upcoming wedding? Just as a bride thinks about her wedding, so guests keep the wedding date in mind. They check the registries and purchase a wedding gift. They clear their schedules, choose appropriate attire, and arrive on time. So it is for you and for me as we look ahead to the marriage feast of the Lamb. Jesus calls upon us to “abide” in His Word and promises us the blessings of truth and freedom (cf. Jn. 8:31-32). Paul urges us to “continue in the things you have learned and been assured of, knowing…that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:14-15). He then reminds us that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
My dear friends, greater gifts and better advice cannot be given. Our text ends with these words: “These are the true sayings of God.” The world around us is blind. It has declared that there is no such thing as truth and, consequently, any individual following the instruction and advice of this world will never discover truth unless and until the Spirit of God leads such a person to repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. For such conversions, we must pray! But as for ourselves, as we live our lives in this world and face the challenges of this world, let us remember the message of Easter: He is risen! Yes, Jesus Christ is risen indeed! That is a fact and the faith we cherish that is based upon that fact reveals that THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB HAS COME! Let us, therefore, prepare for Him as both His bride and as His guest! Hallelujah! Amen!