John 3:27-29 "John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full."
Introduction and Review
For the past couple of days we have been exploring the Biblical theme of the Divine Wedding as used by God to portray His redemptive purposes in the Bible. After overviewing the big picture in the first post of this series, we then looked yesterday at how God began to utilize this major theme in the Old Testament through the Gospels. In yesterday's post we discovered the following two major points:
1. Purposes of a Sovereign, Loving Savior
2. Presentation of the Son as a Bridegroom for the people
In today's post we want to develop further the second point and add one more to it as we aim to understand the wedding you cannot miss - a wedding that is concerned with the destiny and salvation of those who accept or reject it's invitation.
Presentation of the Bridegroom for the people
It is no accident that the most famous passage on salvation in the Bible - John 3:16, occurs in the same chapter with John the Baptist's declaration of Jesus as the Bridegroom for the people. If the reader will recall, God planned to marry Israel as His wife, only to experience the pain of divorce as a result of her unfaithfulness. Through prophetic predictions of a new Covenant and coming Messiah, Yahweh planned to restore unto Himself His people, meaning that in His Sovereign purposes, His plan to restore His choice people was not going to fail. The Old Testament tells us what Yahweh intended to do, and yet it does not reveal how.
John the Baptist's remarks about Jesus being the "bridegroom" begins to unfold how it is God is going to restore unto Himself a people. With a surprising twist - that God Himself in the Person of the Son was going to be incarnated as the Groom who would offer Himself to Israel as her Messiah. Redemption is pictured among other things in the New Testament as God's desire to restore broken fellowship with a people who rejected Him! As the reader journey's throughout the Gospels, we see the following thoughts developed regarding the presentation of the Son as the Groom for His people:
1. The Divine Groom rejoices in coming for His people. Matthew 9:15; John 2:1-12
2. The Divine Groom rejected by His people. Matthew 22:1-5
3. The Divine Groom renders His life on behalf of His people. Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25-27
The New Testament's unfolding of this amazing theme centers almost exclusively on the Groom - The Son. However there is another twist, a surprise unforseen by the Old Testament and faintly unfolded in the Gospels - namely what would be the...
Presentation of the Bride for the Son - The church
The Son who rejoiced, was rejected, rendered His life and who will return, is now looking forward to coming to receive the bride that is being called forth, one choice person at a time, by the Holy Spirit, resulting in freely made decisions that say: "I do" to Jesus Christ. Consider the following points about the bride:
1. The bride is being prepared for her groom, (with Israel being set aside at this present time)
2. The Bride will be presented to the Son as His bride in heaven the rapture. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 19:6-7
3. The Bride will be presented here on earth at His second coming (at which point He will restore Israel). Matt 25:1-13; Rom 11:25-26; 1 Thess 4:13-16
4. The Groom will reign on earth with His Bride the church, along with Israel who will be folded into His bride to be at the end of His reign on earth. (Revelation 20)
5. The Groom and Bride will be married for all eternity, thus completing God's purposes in presenting a bride, composed of all of those whom He chose, called and were converted by faith to His Son.
Appeal for you to become part of the Bride of Christ
The Bible closes will a final appeal to every person to become part of the bride by becoming converted by grace through faith in the Divine Groom - Jesus Christ. (Revelation 22:17) Won't you come?