If I were honest, I'd say one of my favorite parts of a wedding is not only when the Bride bursts through looking radiant and beautiful before walking down the isle, but also the look on the Groom's face as he sees her for the first time. She's worked hard, had her hair done, makeup perfect and looks radiant as she walks down the aisle, locking eyes with him - the one for whom she's been doing all the
work to prepare! This is the woman he has chosen to spend the rest of his life with and he's usually overwhelmed with tears (or in a desperate fight to keep those tears from coming!). It's just beautiful!
Imagine this, though...
The Groom is standing at the end of the isle as the music plays, knowing his Bride will be bursting through those doors at any minute. He is literally fighting back the tears as he thinks of how beautiful she is, how much he loves her and how she's going to take his breath away. She's probably spent the entire day preparing for this moment! After all, she loves him as much as he loves her. This marriage was literally made in heaven!
As the music plays and the doors swing open, the Bride is standing there awkwardly....in her wrinkled and stained pajamas, with bed-head, looking confused, like she just woke up. She almost looks in shock. She blurts out, "Oh, is it TODAY? I had no idea! I knew it was coming but I wasn't really thinking it would be so soon!" The Bride walks timid and embarrassed down the isle, totally unprepared for what should have been the most exciting day of her life. She can never re-live this moment.
I bring this up because just like when Spring comes and we begin to see weddings popping up everywhere, I believe Spring is upon us as Christians and our Groom is standing at the front of the aisle, ready for us. I think it is just a matter of time before those doors swing open and our procession begins! Are we ready? Do we really believe He's coming for us? Do we believe the promise that Jesus gave that He is coming back for us?
I was reading this in Ephesians today and it struck me for several reasons:
Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Christ loves us so much that He gave Himself up for us, friends. It's clear in this passage of Scripture that He did this so that He might present us to Himself, not wrinkled and stained and disheveled, but without spot, wrinkle or any such thing! He knows we could never present ourselves without spot or wrinkle in our own strength. We are incapable, so He gives us what we need in order to do this. He gives us His holiness. He gives us His desires. He gives us His righteousness. Our job is to allow Him to do that. To remember that our special day is coming - and our Groom will be waiting for us. Will we be ready?
Let us be glad and rejoice and let us give honor to Him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and His Bride has prepared herself. She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear." For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God's holy people. And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb." And he added, "These are the true words that come from God."
So many of us live like this promised day is just a fantasy. Or like maybe it's just not going to happen - maybe He didn't mean He was going to literally come back for us. But God is not a liar. He wouldn't tell us it was going to happen if it wasn't true. So the question isn't whether or not our Groom will come for us; instead, the question becomes, "Will we be ready when He does come?".
It's time to get ready, friends. Imagine the look on our Groom's face when those doors swing open and we are ready and waiting. He will fight back the tears as He sees His beautiful bride walking toward Him. The Bride He gave Himself up for, the Bride He loves. The Bride He will spend eternity loving.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, He will surely do it.1 Thessalonians 5:23-24