In both Matthew 22:1-14 and Matthew 25:1-13, Christ compared his return to a wedding. He urged people to be ready for his return. They must not refuse Godís invitation; they must be ready, even if he comes at midnight.
In Ephesians 5:31-32, Paul discusses the real meaning of marriage. It is not just a relationship between a man and a woman - it has a much more important meaning that that. Paul called it a great mystery; he means that God will show the true meaning at the proper time. However, Paul considered that the true meaning was in Christís love for his people. Paul expresses further this idea in 2 Corinthians 11:2.
Godís people belong to Christ as his bride. That is so because of his great love for them. However, in ancient Israel, love alone was usually not a strong enough reason for marriage. It was the custom that the bridegroom also had to pay a price for his bride (see 1 Samuel 18:17-27).
The price that Christ paid was his own death. That is why Revelation 19:7, like 1 Peter 1:18-19, calls Christ Ďthe Lambí. He suffered death, like the lambs (young sheep) that people offered to God at his house, called the temple (Exodus 12:3; Leviticus 1:2; Isaiah 53:7 John 1:29; Acts 8:30-35).
So, Godís people belong to Christ because of his love and because he paid the price. However, another reason also appears in Revelation chapter 19. Godís people belong to Christ because he will defeat their enemies (19:11-16). In the laws of ancient Israel, a woman could not marry another man while her first husband remained alive (Romans 7:1-4). At the cross, Christ has already defeated his enemies, but until his return, sin (evil deeds), the devil and death still have some power. However, at his return, he will destroy their power completely (1 Corinthians 15:50-57). That is the connection between the marriage of the Lamb and the last battle in Revelation chapter 19. That marriage cannot happen while those enemies still have some control over Godís people. At Christís return, that control ends completely.
Next part: The bride of Christ (Revelation 19:8)
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© 2016, Keith Simons.