Reading Revelation 19:1-10
Earlier in the Book of Revelation we saw silence in heaven. In today’s verses there is an incredible cacophony of worship. Crescendos of worship are sung and said through out God’s throne room.
First a large crowd (1-3), then the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures we met in chapter 5 (4), then a single voice from the throne cries out in praise (5) followed again by the huge crowd (6-8). Simon Wooding points out that, “These voices combine to give heaven’s verdict on the judgement of the great whore, emphasising that the destruction of the great city is both appropriate and just.There is no pity here – evil reaps its own reward, and the suffering righteous are vindicated. The extravagant attire of the whore is contrasted with the pure and simple clothing worn by the Lamb’s bride symbolic of the righteous behaviour of the Church in contrast to the extravagant evil of Rome (7-8)” p52.
The incredible crowd responds to God’s judgment with enthusiasm and praise. Jesus the suffering servant of the gospels is the powerful righteous judge. After all the pain, suffering and persecution there is a wonderful moment of triumph.
Over the last few days Team GB has been seen as triumphant, they have returned as conquering heroes in a gold nosed 747. There is delight in our country at finishing second in the medal table. However the difference between these celebrations and the triumph of Jesus is the difference between a tear and the Pacific Ocean! After the sound of worship the angel announces that the celebration will continue as the wedding feast of the Lamb. The greatest marriage of eternity.
Marriage is used throughout the Bible as a metaphor of God’s great desire and love for his people. A few days ago we saw that faithlessness against God was a kind of adultery, a cheating on the One who loves us and gave His life for us. The Bible begins with a marriage, (Adam to Eve) has a marriage in the centre (Song of Songs), and concludes with a marriage (the wedding supper of the Lamb). Four times in the Bible we are told these words, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7 and Ephesians 5:31). The Ephesians passage is remarkable because it tells us that these verses truly find their fulfilment in Jesus, who left his Father to join with his bride. Us!
John Piper writes, “Let this thought govern your life: Jesus Christ came to betroth a people to himself at the price of his own blood. If I am a part of that betrothed people by faith in Jesus, he will come to me (and all who believe in him) and say, “Come, O faithful bride, enter into my gardens and into my chambers and learn now for eternity what the dim shadows of earthly pleasures were all about.” (Sermon preached Good Friday 2004. http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/jesus-christ-the-bridegroom-past-and-future )
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:31-32)
Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:9)
Father, thank you that you have over come all things, that there is a day when I will see you face to face and know you as I am known. Help me to keep in mind today that I am not my own but yours. Loved by you. Chosen by you. Yours forever. Amen
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