Summary: The Church is called the bride of Christ to stress the purity we should maintain, as well as the sense of anticipation we have awaiting the coming of our bridegroom.

But once you get past the whole gender thing, you realize that what God is talking about here is the most intimate of relationships. Christ uses this imagery to describe His relationship with the Church because He wants us to recognize how deeply He loves us, and how intimately He wants to relate to us. This is no “one night stand” that God calls us to, but a lifetime of growing closer to Him.

Christ has fallen head over heels in love with us. When Jesus says that our love is “to die for,” He meant it literally. It must have been love that lead Jesus to spread His hands out to allow nails to be driven through His wrists and feet. As the crown of thorns was wedged onto His head and as each breath became shallower as he hung on the cross, the Son of God could have ended the drama of His crucifixion any time He wanted. But if He had, the wedding would have been off. The peasant bride isn’t worthy to wear the white garment of righteousness on her own. Isaiah 64:6 says that “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” If it all depended on us, there would be no wedding. But Jesus couldn’t bear to spend eternity without us. He longs to live out eternity with His betrothed. So with His blood he purchased a garment of righteousness worthy of a royal wedding. Isaiah 61:10 says, 10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Now I have to tell you, given who we are and the way we sometimes behave, I can’t imagine why the perfect prince would want us as His bride. The church is far from perfect. We are sometimes cranky and cantankerous. We rarely if ever live up to our God given potential. There are times when our faithfulness wears pretty thin, and our eyes wander. Sometimes our hearts get side-tracked and we let things like material possessions and power and prestige become more important in our lives than the bridegroom who loves us more than life itself. I shake my head as I ponder His never-ending love for us.

But when I take the time to ponder His love for me, I mean more than just tossing a thought His way, when I really meditate on the love God has for me, I can’t help but long to be pure for His sake.

One thing I’ve noticed about couples who are engaged to be married. They become obsessed with preparation. They want to make sure that everything is right, the dress and the tux, the weight, the hair, it all needs to be just right. Why? Is it so that their fiance will want to marry them? No. Just the opposite. They want to look their best because their fiancee is marrying them. The same is true for us. We want to look our best for Christ. We want our hearts to be pure and our thoughts to be clean. We want our lives to be marked by grace and love. We want to be prepared for His coming. It’s not so that He will love us. He already has proven His love for us on the cross. We want to be that pure spotless bride because He loves us.

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Adam Rackliffe

commented on Oct 7, 2008

Snake Plissken eats Cosmic''s dust!!!

Dale Arnett

commented on Nov 2, 2013

Awesome message, one of the best messages I have ever heard on this topic. I am doing a sermon series on the 'Church" and would like to borrow from this text.

Lanny Backes

commented on Sep 2, 2016

I was inspired to prepare a message about this same topic for my life group. As I dug deeper I found something that is a huge part of the bride being made ready. Two things actually, the first point is that the bride makes herself ready, it is a conscious act that we all must take part in. And, two; the word used in the Hebrew is Tzedakot, which is plural(meaning many) for Tzedakah. The act of Tzedakah is charity, but done so out of obligation, in other words, its something He commands from us. I believe the Lord truly wants to see His bride living out deliberate acts of kindness, and goodness, exemplifying the fruits of the spirit as a whole congregation. It comes together collectively, but each one of us has his/her own part to do!

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