The Beautiful Bride
God is bringing a bride to his son, the second Adam, and presenting her to him. One day we are going to wake up from one of the best naps ever, to be a part of the greatest gift ever, to feast at the richest banquet ever, to gaze at the loveliest groom ever, to enjoy the best marriage ever—a marriage that will last forever. God is going to present us as a bride to our Bridegroom. The apostle John was given a preview of our wedding day:
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. (Rev. 21:1–2)
I imagine the Bridegroom on that day, his eyes fixed on his bride, unable to keep from bursting out with the same words the first Adam spoke when he first saw his bride: “At last!” At last we’ll be all we were intended to be. At last the curse that brought such pain and conflict into our earthly marriages will be gone for good. At last we’ll be together forever. “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God” (Rev. 21:3). No more separation, no more alienation.
This marriage is going to be so much better than the marriage of Adam and Eve in Eden. Our groom, the second Adam, will not fail to lovingly lead us to feast on the tree of life. He will not fail to protect us from evil. He will not dominate or abuse or ignore. He will not abandon. He will not die. His love will satisfy us forever in a home even better than Eden.
Longing for Perfection
No human marriage, no matter how good, can bear the weight of our expectations of complete satisfaction and perfect harmony and intimacy that only this ultimate and eternal marriage can provide. After two sinners say, “I do,” there is always at least a little, “What have I done?” But our less-than-perfect marriages or our longings to be married can serve to whet our appetite for this perfect marriage to come. Whether we’re married or single, divorced or widowed, our lives are meant to be spent nurturing our longing for this better marriage. And someday that longing will be fulfilled. Don’t stuff down those desires to be loved in this way; direct your desires toward the only one who can love you this way forever.
Our less-than-perfect marriages or our longings to be married can serve to whet our appetite for this perfect marriage to come.
Don’t think that because the Bridegroom has delayed his coming that he’s not coming at all. Don’t be like the five foolish bridesmaids who were unprepared. Jesus’s parable of the bridegroom and the bridesmaids ended in what, for some of us, may seem an uncomfortable or even offensive way:
The bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” But he answered, “Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.” (Matt. 25:10–12)
Maybe that seems cold. Maybe when you read that, you think, a God of love will never do that. But it is precisely because he is a God of love and will do that that he sent Jesus to warn us.
Foretold in His Word
It’s precisely because he is a God of love that he has given his Word to us, which ends with an open invitation to all to come to the most expensive and extravagant wedding of all time. In the final chapter of the Bible we read, “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Rev. 22:17). The Spirit and the bride are inviting all to come to this well of living water, Christ himself. Even now God is at work at this well, wooing and preparing a beautiful bride for his beloved Son. The Holy Spirit, speaking through the Word of God, is saying to you, “Come.” All of those who are already being made ready for the wedding are saying, “Come.” Say yes to this dress. Say yes to this bridegroom.
In almost the last line of the last book of the Bible we get to hear our Bridegroom whisper words of hope into our ears: “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon’” (Rev. 22:20). Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
On that day when he comes, I imagine our grand romance will still be best expressed in poetic verse. Perhaps we’ll borrow from the Song of Solomon, the greatest love song of all time, as we look into the face of our glorious groom and say with radiant joy and a sense of relief, “‘I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.’ Let’s dance!” (see Song 6:3)
The church’s one Foundation
is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is His new creation,
by water and the Word;
from heav’n He came and sought her
to be His holy bride;
with His own blood He bought her,
and for her life He died.1
- S. J. Stone, 1866, “The Church’s One Foundation,” 1866.
This article is adapted from Even Better Than Eden: Nine Ways the Bible's Story Changes Everything about Your Story by Nancy Guthrie.
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