Our Heavenly Husband

As we saw last time, Jesus referred to the Old Testament when He called Himself the Bridegroom of His people. The New Testament picks up this theme in a number of important passages referring to Christ. John the Baptist, when questioned about his ministry, said that he was not the long-awaited Christ, and then declared, “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice” (John 3:29). Christ Himself told a parable about a wedding feast, in which the son of the king clearly refers to Jesus, the Son of God, who came to be joined to His people in an unending covenant of love. Those who reject the invitation to the wedding celebration will be cast out forever (Matthew 22:1-14). In another parable, Christ urged upon His disciples the necessity of waiting eagerly for His return, like the sudden coming of a bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-6). All these passages – and others which we shall introduce later – tell us several things: - Jesus is Yahweh come in the flesh as the unique God-Man. By applying the title of bridegroom to Himself, our Lord clearly intends to claim the highest dignity. - The sense of expectation which rises with mounting intensity in the Old Testament has given way to the gladness of fulfillment. The long-expected Messiah has come to deliver His people! - As in the message of the prophets, so in Jesus we see a mixture of passionate love for His people and furious jealousy for His relationship with them. He will tolerate no rivals for our affection, and His Father will reject those who refuse the invitation to His Son’s wedding banquet. - But for those who do receive Him, who believe in His name, there is joy unimaginable. The happiest occasion we know – a wedding – hints dimly at the thrilling rapture of union with Christ. - We must wait, however, for the final consummation. The Bridegroom will be taken from His disciples and they will mourn for a while, longing for His return to consummate the wedding and usher us into eternal bliss.