Friday, February 20, 2015

A Beautiful Picture

Tomorrow I will have the great joy of seeing two people I love very much be united in marriage.  It will be a glorious day full of celebration and joy.

As Christians, each wedding we attend should bring this joy to our heart.  Not only because it is the union between two people who love each other very much, but because it is the picture given to the world of the love of Christ for His church.  Consider the words of the Apostle Paul:

"Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit: Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church:  and He is the Savior of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.   Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that is should be holy and without blemish.  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.  He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  For no man ever ye hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.  For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband." Ephesians 5: 17-33, emphasis added.

In this passage, the Apostle Paul expounds on the relationship between a husband and wife, but he also mentions the parallel between the husband and wife relationship and the relationship between Christ and the church.  Finally he tells us that he is speaking of Christ and the church.

The husband and wife exist to point to the world the truth of Christ and the church.

This truth rings out to us even when we don't realize it.  Every time a husband cherishes his wife, he points to the world that Christ cherishes the church.  Every time a wife reverences her husband, she points to the world that the church reverences Christ.  In some spiritual way we might not even be able to intellectually fathom, the truth sinks into our hearts.

This is the primary purpose of marriage in our world and while we may suppose the primary purpose to be love, companionship and procreation, our thoughts are not God's thoughts.  He created the institution of marriage in the beginning of the human race for the purpose of showing a pattern of His Son and His bride.  All other reasons are secondary to this one main truth.

So as we watch that lovely bride --whomever she may be-- travel down the aisle toward her groom, let us remember there will be a day when another, greater bride will travel upward to her Groom.   Every wedding, every marriage points to this. . .Christ loves us and considers us His bride.  He has purchased us with His own blood and waits with love and joy for us to spend all eternity with Him.

"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: 
for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.  
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: 
for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." 
Revelation 19:7,8

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