Tuesday, January 7, 2014

P1 The Wedding you must not miss that is revealed in scripture

Jeremiah 31:31-34 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."

Introduction: Preparing for a wedding
Not long ago my mother gave letters written by my wife's late mother to my wife that contained information about preparations for our wedding. Debi's mother had written the letters with a detailed list of what needed to be done before our wedding day.  When Debi saw her mother's handwriting, it rekindled wonderful memories of a wonderful woman of God. We both were reminded about all the preparations that went into our wedding, and how hard Debi's mother had worked to make our wedding day so very special and unforgettable. The Lord has been good to us both in giving us nearly 18 years of wonderful marriage to one another.

The Theme of God's marriage to His people from Old to New Testament
When we turn to the Bible, we get to read in the Old and New Testaments all that God did in providing salvation for His people.  Whether the reader may realize it or not, there is a grand plan including a glorious wedding at the center of God's redemptive work in scripture. The idea of God being a Groom and His people being a bride is repeated throughout both Testaments. In the Old Testament we see Yahweh marrying Israel, only to see Israel break covenant with Him. Despite Israel's failure, Yahweh predicts through the prophets that His people will be restored to Him. The Old Testament ends with prophecies and promises stating that God will restore His people, without explaining exactly how he will accomplish the feat.

In the Gospels we discover the glorious and unexpected sequel to the Old Testament. God would use the people of God, Israel, to supply the means by which His Son could enter into time through the virgin birth. By way of the Fully Divine Son's incarnation, the restoration of the people of God would come about through the Groom - The Son. Old Testament scriptures abound in the prediction of the Messiah coming into history to redeem His people.  However the one detail not revealed in the Old Testament regarded the nature of the bride for the Messiah, the Son.

As one proceeds further into the Gospels, Acts and Epistles, God's glorious plan for a wedding is unfolded that includes His Son paying the price for His future bride, the Church. The church is the means by which God will gather His choice people from every tribe, nation and tongue to be the Bride for the Son. Passages such as Ephesians 5 connect the ongoing theme of Christ the Bridegroom and the church the bride. The idea of Jesus Christ being the Divine Bridegroom reveals Him to be equal and Divinely united in glory and honor to the Person of the Father, Yahweh in the Old Testament. 

The Jewish people, who would reject their Messiah in the Gospels, are not cast away, but are temporarily set aside by Yahweh in this age so that the full number of Gentiles may be gathered by the Spirit through missionary efforts. Why? As the New Testament reveals, God is in the business of gathering a bride composed of the least likely people of His chosen purposes who will bring about His glory - the church. 

Once we come to the Book of Revelation, the full picture of the wedding for the Son and His bride, the church, is made complete.  We discover that the church will be transformed in the rapture and Israel will be prepared and purified through the tribulation period to be converted by grace through faith the Son's second coming. Revelation also reveals that more people will be given saving grace by the Spirit to believe on Jesus Christ before being martyred. Upon His return, converted Israel will finally fulfill her role among the nations in Christ's Millennial reign in Revelation 20. Following the Millennium, the bride will be united to the Son in full radiant glory in Revelation 21-22, with the marriage lasting into eternity and God's redemptive plan fully complete.  

Truly this is a wedding that you must not miss, being that God has sent forth His Spirit to call forth sinners unto faith and repentance and thus be a part of the bride. This is the overall picture the Bible portrays regarding the Wedding you must no miss.  In tomorrow's post we will begin to look more closely at this amazing theme of God's desire to gather a bride for His Son. 

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