One of the highest points of celebration throughout all of the Bible narrative is the celebration of marriage and holy unions. From the beginning with Adam and Eve as the template of male/female and husband/wife being wed by God in Eden's holy Garden to the repeated teachings of Christ in His earthly ministry about the Father preparing a people for Him as a Bridegroom and Bride being wed. Then there is the final and most glorious celebration we see in the Biblical narrative as seen in Revelation 19.
Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”
In order to feel the full weight of the celebration and anticipation leading to this Heavenly marriage feast and ceremony, you must read verses 1 through 6. All of Heaven is reflecting on Babylon's judgement and fall, Satan's defeat, the end of the innocent murdering of God's people, and now the object and focus of Christ's jealous zeal and love, His prepared Bride awaiting Him. Imagine hundreds of thousands in Heaven singing, celebrating, dancing, rejoicing in Christ's completed work of justice and then she--She--SHE enters the scene. It's Christ's corporate Bride just collected from the four corners of the earth from every tribe, nation, and language. This is what all of human history has been building toward. This is HIS-story. "There she is", I can imagine the Son whisper to the Father. "She didn't forsake Me! She made the required wedding preparations. Now she is wearing garments of beauty and glory to reflect her history with me. Look at the colors, the variety, the brightness. All for love." This is what we are born for and are being invited into preparing for and getting excited for.
As we continue in this 40 Days of Fasting together, let me point out this phrase for consideration: "...His wife (Bride) has made herself ready." It is true that in traditional Hebrew culture, much of the marriage preparation responsibility rests on the shoulders of the Bridegroom. He was responsible for preparing a home and shelter and place where they would start their own family under their own roof. It was the responsibility of the Bride to be ready for that day, though the day was unknown. She would have been responsible for preparing her heart, her previous relationships, her personal belongings, so that when her Bridegroom came for her, she would be ready to go with Him. She was no longer holding on to her old way of living but now was already living in faith for the new life awaiting her. This is the picture for us to draw encouragement from.
In the same way today, as we follow Christ in love and obedience to His Word and commands, we too are making preparations for that wedding day. Our obedience to Christ is what our garments are formed from. Saying no to sin and yes to right living according to God's standards becomes the "fine linen=righteous acts" of the saints. We will be wearing our obedience and love like garments on that glorious day.
This is far more than an event we just show up to, simply to check off the bucket-list. It is so great an event to look forward to that we want to spend all of our life, energy, and resources to prepare for. Our highest gifts to Christ in love will be our participation and agreement with Holy Spirit to be made ready for Christ on that day. Let us keep saying yes, even in secret, even in weakness, even when it seems meaningless. Each YES to Christ will be returned back to us in unimaginable gold and wealth from Christ.
Revelation 19:9 Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
International House of Prayer-Miami
Executive Director & Pastor