The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
We begin with an often repeated thought. Eye has not seen nor ear heard the things that God has prepared for them that love Him. There remains an eternal rest and great, inexpressible joy for those who believe God. Now the Lord is the Spirit and those who worship and love Him must do so in spirit and truth. Truth is a powerful thought. Authentic, real, no faking, no hypocrisy. Life is real, why fake it. That is a common phrase now and it rings of truth. But without a reality of Christ and God for who He is, those words provide the excuse that we are just being real, simply being honest. We require everyone else to live with our ugly selves. We learn how to manage. That is a nice way of saying we learn to draw boundaries, have walls, and hide in our fears. We are afraid to be exposed and, like Adam and Eve, we hide.
The Lord Jesus Christ displayed the full glory of the Living God, and revealed Him as a giving Father. He gives without limit. He is gracious. When we come to God now, we see Jesus. The law came through Moses. Moses is an awesome man but he is not the Savior. The law was never meant to save us but to expose us to ourselves so that we would be drawn to God who is the Savior. I have not heard it said lately but the meaning of the name “Jesus” is “God is Savior”. When God called Adam out of his hiding place, He knew what had happened. He drew the confession out of Adam and that man included the source of his temptation, Eve. We need to be careful here. Was this the start of blame shifting?
We now know not to go there, or we should know to simply admit our own sin, our own failures. That restores intimacy, both with God and with human relationships. God called and Adam came out of hiding. Everything that Adam said to God was factually true. God sees the heart and He spoke directly to Adam and gave that man consequence. The same was true for Eve. Only the serpent was cursed directly for that animal was the means by which satan gained authority among men. Envy and jealously breed all kinds of temptation and failure. Our enemy is envious of man because of what satan forfeit and the love and fellowship God gives to us. God finished His work with Adam and Eve by giving them skins, animal hides. This initial sacrifice is a type of the ultimate sacrifice which we have now seen in Christ. And I sense it was their redemption.
Adam and Eve were married. They were created to be, and were one. Adam said, “Bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” When asked about divorce Jesus first clarified the issue of the law from Moses. His audience were all synagogue attenders. Today, many are churchgoers. They, and we, have heard God’s commandments, His words to man. Moses allowed divorce because of hardness of heart. To the Corinthians, Paul echoed this related to unbelievers. We are called to peace. Yet Paul did not condone divorce. He said among believers, we may need time apart but we should be reconciled to one another. Get your heart soft. Jesus came to show us what is available and then poured out His Spirit so we might receive Him and have our hearts softened.
Jesus includes these words about marriage, “It was not so from the beginning.” Back to Adam and Eve. We do not see much detail about their lives after the garden. But I know this. Eve had many children. Adam called her Eve because she was the mother of all living. And their children had children, and the earth was being filled. God had said be fruitful and multiply. And I also know this, Adam did not get up one day and say, “Eve, I hate you. I am out of here. I am following Cain up to Nod and find me another wife.” He and Eve had been through too much together. She had literally come out of his side. He could not forget that. Jesus closed with this, “What God has joined together, let no man, or woman, break it. That will lead to adultery.” And He also said that adultery leads to divorce.
All this is simple to me. If we want to follow Jesus fully, to truly be His disciple, we must hear Him and do what He says. Marriage has been called a covenant. I am not sure about that description. Every covenant that depends upon man to keep has been broken. Only the covenants which God ordains and initiates and keeps will fulfill His purpose. This is His goal among mankind, that He will be glorified. We say the enemy attacks us and our relationships, our families. He can only work chaos where he has ground. The cross has put Adam, our flesh to death. We need to agree that we are dead to our ways and our agenda. When trouble comes, when the voice of the accuser beats on us, refuse his taunts and accusations. Don’t agree with the temptations to live our old ways. And lean on your beloved, Jesus Christ.
Jesus is a heavenly bridegroom for every true believer. His church is called his bride, his wife. This is written by Paul to the Ephesians and appears again in John’s vision in Revelation (Rev. 21). True Christians don’t initiate polygamy because God’s original, and continued, intent is one man and one wife. So is Christ and the church. God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. In this life He can restore marriages for His name’s sake. Some couples manage marriage for their mutual comfort. It is simple wisdom to maintain peaceful relationships. But God is after our true spiritual growth. Seek peace with all people and the sanctification without which no one will see God. I have some self-centered ways that still need to go. Many of us do and those ways affect our relationships.
But we know that He is able to heal and restore every broken part of our lives. This is necessary individually and applies to our relationships. Our relationships are the platforms where He refines us. We see that they are fragile, and seemingly easily broken. Offenses come and we must let them go. Some are more easily forgiven. Failure to forgive and to seek genuine peace is one issue which will hinder our growth and, if unchecked, our entrance into His presence. The marriage supper of the Lamb has been prepared for them that love Him. To those who are fully yielded to Jesus, who love Him and pursue the intimacy that He waits to share, that celebration will be a wedding to Him. I have no idea what that really looks like. But I know it will be awesome. His new wine will flow, His joy will be explosive! If we will share it, like Him, we must endure the cross in our life, in our relationships. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, so that He might sit and wait for His bride to be made ready. Are you being made ready?