Written by Allan Mitchell for The Life
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing[a] 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.”– EPHESIANS 5:25-27
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I still vividly recall the last wedding I attended. Like other attendees, I watched intently as the wedding party took their rightful positions. Traditional wedding procession music startled the silence. The bride, adorned in a spotless white gown, gracefully approached her anxiously awaiting groom. He excitingly stepped forward to receive his betrothed.Scripture includes many allusions to marriage. In Ephesians, reiterating the Jewish marriage tradition, Paul explains that God models the traditional earthly marriage covenant on His eternal relationship with His chosen future bride, the church. Paul says Jesus loves His chosen future bride, and “gave himself up for her.” The binding betrothal price – His lifeblood.According to first century Jewish customs, the groom prepares a place for His bride and the bride watchfully and prayerfully prepares herself for the groom’s imminent arrival. Throughout this interim betrothal period prior to His second coming, Jesus goes to prepare a place for His bride, and through the Holy Spirit, He sanctifies and purifies His beloved church through immersion in His Word.
As Jesus’ blood-bought bride, are we faithfully preparing ourselves for our soon coming groom? Are we allowing Him to prepare and purify us, so that when He returns, He receives a bride who is “without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless?” As His church, it is our individual and collective responsibility to remain faithful — immersed in His Will and Word — willingly watching and waiting for Him to return and receive us to Himself. Are you ready to meet your bridegroom?
Dear Heavenly Father: Lord, thank you that you purchased me with your lifeblood. Help me to understand that I was bought with a price – I am not my own. Help me to faithfully be submissive and allow you to sanctify and purify me by daily immersing myself in your presence, Will and Word, so that at your appearing, I am holy and blameless, without stain, wrinkle or blemish. Amen.
Go Deeper – Ask yourself: am I ready for the groom’s appearing? Prayerfully examine your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that hinders your relationship with Him. Commit to daily immersing yourself in His Word and Will – waiting and watching for His return.