During a wedding ceremony, after the candles are lit, the guests seated and the bridal party is in place, there arises an anticipation that fills the atmosphere. There is a quiet pause as all eyes wait to behold the grand entrance of the hidden bride. Suddenly the music begins to play and all stand to their feet as the doors open, giving way for her entrance. As she makes her way down the aisle, her dazzling white dress reflects her beauty within. Her groom utters no words, but his eyes speak volumes.
In this ceremony, all is wonderful. All is glorious. All is exciting! But how much time and preparation did it take for this wonderful, glorious, exciting moment to take place?
We must remember that the natural is a type and shadow of the spiritual. There is an earthly Bride and a Heavenly Bride. There is an earthly Bridegroom and a Heavenly Bridegroom. We know who the spiritual Bridegroom is, but who is the mysterious Bride?
Revelation 19:7 states, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His Bride hath made herself ready.” Here we find the key to the mysterious Bride. She is not the entire Church of Jesus Christ. If that were the case, the entire Church would be “ready”. The scripture declares that “His Bride hath made herself ready”, which means that only those who are preparing themselves to meet the Bridegroom can make up the Bride.
It is interesting to note that the first thing seen on a Bride is her dress. It is of utmost importance because the garment she wears is a reflection of who she is. Her greatest challenge is protecting her dress and keeping it clean from anything that would defile its beauty.
Ephesians 5:27 declares, “That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Notice that the Bride is part of the “church”, but not ALL of the church. This Bridal company consists of those who are continually living the life of total surrender to Christ. They are making sure to take care of their garment by keeping it clean from all worldly elements. The spots and stains and wrinkles of the self-life must be removed so that the true beauty of the garment, which is the “righteousness of Christ”, can be seen. The righteousness of Christ is the inner working of the Holy Spirit to bring us into “right standing” with God. And when that inner work is complete, we are then clothed with the wedding dress and ready to be presented to our Bridegroom!
Let us not be satisfied to only be part of the Church of Jesus Christ. Let us make it our goal to be His Bride. Let us take the time to prepare ourselves and rid our garment from every spot, wrinkle and blemish so that we can present ourselves before Him in purity and holiness, reflecting His image and likeness, in which we can truly become ONE with Him!
By @sharon_bolan (www.thechange.org)