Summary: There is coming a day of celebration that will take place in heaven that will far exceed anything that has happened since the beginning of creation. All heaven will ring with shouts of joyous praise and exaltation to the Lamb of God as He takes His bride.
Introduction: There is coming a day of celebration that will take place in heaven that will far exceed anything that has happened since the beginning of creation. All heaven will ring with shouts of joyous praise and exaltation to the Lamb of God as Christ takes His bride and the thundering announcement is echoed through the halls of glory, “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come and his wife hath made herself ready.” This morning I want us to consider the identity of Lamb’s Bride, the marriage of the Lamb, and the Bride’s responsibility.
I. The Identity of Christ’s Bride
A. Adam and Eve are a picture of Christ and His Bride.
B. Genesis 2:18, 21-24 “And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him... And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
C. Just as Eve was of Adam's body and united to him, so the Church is the body of Christ and united with Him by the operation of the Holy Spirit.
D. While there is no direct statement saying “the church is the bride of Christ”, clearly the teachings of Paul along with the body of Scripture teach this truth that the Church has the same spiritual oneness as Adam and Eve had physically. The bridal analogy is used throughout the New Testament to teach the relational truths of believers with Christ.
E. Ephesians 5:25-32 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body,[ of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
F. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.”
II. The Marriage of the Lamb – the wedding events. (adapted from “A Marriage Made in Heaven”, Cooper Abrams, Calvary Baptist Church, Tremonton, Utah)
A. To fully understand and appreciate the relationship of Christ and His bride we must have an understanding of the events leading up to the marriage. In biblical times were four phases to a Jewish wedding.
B. The Betrothal
1. The Ketubah, or marriage contract (or covenant) was prepared by the bridegroom, which he presented to the intended bride and her father.
2. Included in this was the "Bride Price", which was the dowry or “purchase price” that he was willing to pay for her and was an expression of his love for her.
3. Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”
4. Acts 20:28 “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
5. 1 Peter 1:18-19 “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
C. The Acceptance Cup
1. To see if the proposal was accepted, the young man would pour a cup of wine for his beloved and wait to see if she drank it. This cup represents a blood covenant.