A Marriage Made in Heaven
“Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, ‘Come, I will show the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city of Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God (Revelation 21:9-10).”
Everyone loves romance stories. We watch with anticipation as we see the couple battle through the awkward early days of dating, waiting to see things grow more serious. When they make the turn, we wait for the day when the question is asked, the answer given, and then the wedding – a celebration! Why does this so capture our attention, why are we drawn to this story? If we are familiar with the Bible we might suggest that perhaps it is because the story of what God is doing in the world is actually a romance story – indeed one that ends in a marriage.
Here in the text listed above John is invited to a wedding of sorts. He gets to have a sneak preview of the Bride, the wife of the Lamb coming down out of heaven. The bride and the city combine to speak of God’s people gathered. This is not the first time in the book of Revelation that a bride or a wedding is mentioned to symbolize God’s people; nor is Revelation the only place that such a symbol is used. The prophets used this image quite often (Is. 61:10, 62:5; Jer. 31:2, Ez. 16:10-13; Hos. 2:16-20 – just to mention a few); and maybe most beautifully the Apostle Paul used this image to speak about Christ’s self-giving love for the church (Eph. 5:25-27).
If you are in a great marriage (as I am) then you may revel in the love, security and intimacy that can be known in such a relationship. Oh, but we must never think that this is an end in itself. No, what we know in the romance story of our marriage is but a faint echo of a greater tune, a faded signpost of a greater destination, and a foretaste of the great “marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9).” I can’t wait for the wedding!