Summary: Celebrate Your Marriage to Christ! 1) He’s like no other groom. 2) You’re like no other bride.
“I can’t be cool. I can’t be laid-back. Something happened and I want to celebrate it” (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/movies/1402AP_Crusie_Holmes_Wedding.html). About a month ago the starry-eyed Tom Cruise blurted out those words before he proceeded to jump up and down on Oprah Winfrey’s couch proclaiming his love for actress Katie Holmes. Last weekend, Tom and Katie, or TomKat as they are known, tied the knot at a medieval castle in Italy. How does a couple with million dollar smiles, and million dollar bank accounts celebrate their marriage? As you expect they would - with champagne, fireworks, and music performed by an opera star (Andrea Bocelli).
Was your wedding like TomKat’s? Probably not. That doesn’t mean, however, that your marriage is not worth celebrating. The fact is your marriage is so special that, 3,000 years ago, the Holy Spirit inspired a song to honour it. No, this song is not about your marriage to your spouse; it’s about your marriage to Christ. That’s how the Bible often describes a believer’s relationship to the Saviour, and Psalm 45 urges us to celebrate this marriage to Christ. Why? Because he’s like no other groom, and you’re like no other bride.
You couldn’t open a newspaper or turn on the TV last weekend without learning about the TomKat wedding. Why all the interest? It’s because Tom Cruise is supposedly one of the best looking and most successful actors in the business. For much the same reason, our marriage to Christ is a big deal because the groom is more attractive than anyone else – even Tom Cruise. Our text says of Christ: “2 You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace” (Psalm 45:2).
Now when the Holy Spirit says that Christ’s lips have been anointed with grace, he’s not saying Jesus’ smile is more dashing than Tom Cruise’s smile. Rather the Holy Spirit is speaking about the words that came from Jesus’ lips – this is what makes him more attractive than anyone else. For example don’t you physically relax when you hear Jesus say in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”? Don’t you swell with hope when he declares in John 11:25: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies”? And aren’t you comforted when you hear Jesus announce to the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43): “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise”?
Tom Cruise has spoken a lot of memorable lines, but none can match the beauty of Jesus’ words because Jesus was never acting. He was never playing the part of a hero. He is a mighty hero and Psalm 45 describes Jesus that way: “3 Gird your sword upon your side, O mighty one; clothe yourself with splendor and majesty. 4 In your majesty ride forth victoriously in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness; let your right hand display awesome deeds. 5 Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet. 6 Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom” (Psalm 45:3-6).
Those who are good with words are often no good with swords. That doesn’t describe Jesus, however. He’s no wimpy poet; he is a warrior-king. He is true God who came to trample his enemies and ours. Of course Pilate didn’t see this in Jesus when he interrogated him. Instead he saw a bruised and battered pretender. Many continue to view Jesus as Pilate did. Believers too are tempted to think this of Jesus when they see the wicked prosper while they suffer. Thankfully our Epistle Lesson today echoes what the Psalmist wrote. It assures us that Jesus is an all-powerful warrior-king who will defeat all his enemies and the enemies of his bride, the Church. This will happen on Judgment Day. The Apostle John received a glimpse of that day and reported seeing Jesus return in glory. “All eyes will see him,” John tells us, even those soldiers who nailed Jesus to the cross. And what will their reaction be? Those who have mocked will mourn (Revelation 1:7). They can but cry because their eternal future is a bleak one.
But why shouldn’t that be our reaction as well? I mean, the Psalmist says of Jesus: “7You love righteousness and hate wickedness” (Psalm 45:7a). Let’s face it. Jesus didn’t marry us because we were a spiritual Cinderella: humble, hardworking, and blameless. No, we’re a lot more like Cinderella’s wicked stepsisters: selfish, demanding, whiney, and ungrateful. Yet Christ married us! Why? He married us because this is what God the Father had planned in eternity to demonstrate his love. Jesus was eager to be a part of this arranged marriage because he too is full of amazing love.