You never know what God is going to use to teach you something new about His kingdom. It is good and freeing to allow the Holy Spirit to use whatever He will to bring us to a deeper understanding of God’s truth. In this particular instance, God used the wedding of a friend to bring me to a deeper truth about what it means to be the bride of Christ.
A dear friend, Kristi, had endeared herself to Melinda and me simply by coming to our home and helping Melinda with the children on many occasions. Kristi was both a friend and a servant which made it easy for me to go to the Father for her when she asked if I could write a song for her upcoming wedding from the viewpoint of the Bride welcoming the Groom to receive her. Kristi’s desire was for her wedding to Van to be a picture of Jesus, the Bridegroom, and His love and desire for His Bride, the Church. As I went before the Lord, this song came forth. And on that day, as Kristi came down the aisle, Van went to meet her – to get her – half way up the aisle. And I believe many saw the glory of the Lord that day…as well as His intense desire and love for us – His Bride.
When we were lost in sin, Jesus came as a bridegroom, washing His bride clean and presenting her spotless - sinless - before the Father. God ordained marriage between a man and a woman to be a representation…a picture…of this reality. Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, said this:
[Eph 5:25-27 NASB] 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
That was the work of the cross and the deep love of God that sent Christ to the cross for us in the first place. We were the joy set before Him that drew Him to sacrifice Himself for us and cleanse us from our sin and give us a new identity! Hallelujah!
It may be difficult for a man to see himself as a part of the bride of Christ…but if we, as men, can see ourselves as part of the church, then we have an easier time comprehending the power of what this means for us. He is coming for us. As we live our lives out here in this earth, we should be in a constant state of preparing ourselves for his arrival as our bridegroom just as Kristi prepared for Van to come and get her!
[Mat 25:1-13 NASB] 1 "Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 "Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3 "For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5 "Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and [began] to sleep. 6 "But at midnight there was a shout, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet [him.]' 7 "Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 "The foolish said to the prudent, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' 9 "But the prudent answered, 'No, there will not be enough for us and you [too;] go instead to the dealers and buy [some] for yourselves.' 10 "And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11 "Later the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, lord, open up for us.' 12 "But he answered, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.' 13 "Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”
As you read the lyrics to this song, allow the cleansing power of this glorious truth permeate your entire being as you prepare to meet your Bridegroom - THE Bridegroom - Jesus Christ!
Come As A Bridegroom
WORDS & MUSIC
September 18, 1990
Here in the glory of Your light
I will bow while You purify me purest holy white
Cleansed by the blood that freely flowed from Your side
I will wait in Your presence
‘Til You take me as Your bride
Come as a bridegroom for Your bride
Come and take me to Your side
I surrender, Lord, to Your arms open wide
Won’t You come in the glory of a King
While I worship You and sing
You alone are worthy
Take Your bride Lord Jesus Christ my King
Humbly I bow before Your throne
Here in the presence of the greatest love that’s known
So undeserving of such love full and free
Love so amazing that could make a bride of me
Let this serve as a practical reminder to all the men out there reading this blog to love your wives by laying down your lives for them, just as Christ did for us. Even if you are single, the principle is still the same…lay down your life for those you minister to just as Christ loved the world and gave Himself up to save us from our sin.
[Eph 5:28-33 NASB] 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also [does] the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must [see to it] that she respects her husband.
There is a lot of wisdom in the words of Paul to the body of Christ. Let us lay down our lives. Let us respect others. Let us be Jesus to those around us. Let our marriages reflect the glory of God’s love for His bride as we live our lives out loud for others to see.
To listen to the song and a podcast version of this teaching, go to http://podcast.dennisjernigan.com/e/come-as-a-bridegroom/
Photo courtesy of https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2015/03/30/12/35/sunset-698501__480.jpg