Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
The reason that husbands are instructed to love their wives as Christ loved the church is that the church is the bride of Christ. As the greater church body, we are being purified in order to be presented to Jesus Christ as a pure and spotless bride. The marriage supper of the lamb spoken of in scripture is a celebration of this presentation. Think about that for a moment. Jesus Christ is preparing the church body for marriage to him. The intimacy that is experienced in marriage, the trust that is required and the commitment that is expected are all things that we can hope to have in Jesus Christ as we enter into this matrimony. As the greater church, we are being prepared for marriage, and Jesus Christ will be our groom.
The Book of Revelation paints a beautiful picture of this reunion. It is a call to celebrate the marriage of the lamb as his bride has prepared herself. The lamb’s bride is comprised of those redeemed souls that have been purchased by the groom’s sacrifice [Rev. 19:7-8]. This passage speaks not only of the bride’s outward beauty as she is dressed in unblemished linen but also speaks of the bride’s inward beauty as she has been cleansed of all sin. Picture Jesus Christ standing at the end of the aisle watching his bride approach, perfect in beauty and character, him breathlessly waiting for her to meet him. That is our God awaiting the day He is united with the church.
Our God is a gentleman. The church is his bride, and the scriptures are his love letter to us. While we may anticipate the return of Jesus Christ and the beginning of his eternal reign, Jesus himself awaits with even greater anticipation at receiving his spotless bride. He is courting us as we speak, and He is preparing us for the wedding day. And when it arrives, it will be the greatest wedding feast in history. Father, thank You that You prepare us for our wedding day with your Son, a perfect union between the spotless lamb and his spotless bride, and continue to grow in us the anticipation that a bride has for her wedding day.