What is it about seeing a beautiful bride walk down the aisle that makes us cry? There’s something so moving about seeing her walking toward her beloved! I submit to you, it goes beyond what pleases the eye and touches the heart, for something resonates at the core of who we are, because it echoes the heartbeat of the One who made us.
In my post, “Why is the Way Narrow“,” I suggested that the way is not narrow because it’s a narrow teaching or even a narrow religion; it’s narrow because it’s only found within a Person. It’s not just what Jesus did for us, or what He did as us on the cross, but what God did to us by placing us in Christ when He raised Him from the dead. In “The Jesus Generation!” I showed how the Church—Jesus’ bride—was birthed out of His wounded side on the Cross. You could say that Jesus is the womb of the Church!
Now, consider what Paul is saying here:
9 He gave us resurrection life and drew us to himself by his holy calling on our lives. And it wasn’t because of any good we have done, but by his divine pleasure and marvelous grace that confirmed our union with the anointed Jesus, even before time began! (2 Tim.1:9 TPT*)
Three things I would like to bring out here:
- “Jesus drew us to himself.” When Jesus was raised from the dead, we were raised with Him! Our life is now hidden in Him in God (Col.3:3).
- “And it wasn’t because of any good we have done.” Jesus took us as His own, even though we are a fickle-hearted and unfaithful bride.
- “…by his divine pleasure and marvelous grace that confirmed our union with the anointed Jesus, even before time began!” This divine union was Jesus’ dream before He made the world…before time itself!
The love affair between the Shulamite woman and her Beloved. He relentlessly pursues her, even though she keeps him “behind her wall” (Songs 2:9), until finally, she gives in to love: “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine. (Songs 6:3)
Or, Esther, whose beauty and grace so captured the heart of the king that her favor saved a nation from extinction.
17 The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. (Esther 2:17 NKJV)
Even the infamous ones, like Gomer: God has Hosea takes this prostitute to be his bride (Hos.1:2). She’s continually unfaithful to him, breaking his heart, yet she would be redeemed in the end:
16 “In that day,” declares the Lord,
“you will call me ‘my husband’;
you will no longer call me ‘my master.’
17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips;
no longer will their names be invoked. (Hos.2:16-17 NIV)
There are many more love stories we could look at. But every story that tugs at our heart-strings, whether sublime or poignent, is born out of God’s own heart. They represent every multi-faceted aspect of God’s supernatural love story.
These stories are stories about us—Jesus true love! And, guys, if the thought of being a beautiful bride wierds you out, if you’re married, think about what you felt when you saw your bride coming toward you down the aisle. For me, it was profoundly overwhelming!
These deep emotions we feel are just a very small taste of Jesus’ desire to be with us! That Resurrection Day was the day He had been waiting for since before even time began. He anticipated our union and His dream was to finally be with us.
But this was also the Father’s heart. Consider God’s eternal purposes from the standpoint of having a family. You have a Father who’s called Love, who wants a bride for His son called Grace, so that He can have sons and daughters who will partner with Him on the earth and be together forever! That’s us! This is what Paul was trying to tell us in Ephesians:
4 And in love he chose us before he laid the foundation of the universe! Because of his great love, he ordained us, so that we would be seen as holy in his eyes with an unstained innocence.
5–6 For it was always in his perfect plan to adopt us as his delightful children, through our union with Jesus, the Anointed One, so that his tremendous love that cascades over us would glorify his grace—for the same love he has for the Beloved, Jesus, he has for us. And this unfolding plan brings him great pleasure!
7 Since we are now joined to Christ, we have been given the treasures of redemption by his blood—the total cancellation of our sins—all because of the cascading riches of his grace.8 This superabundant grace is already powerfully working in us, releasing all forms of wisdom and practical understanding. 9 And through the revelation of the Anointed One, he unveiled his secret desires to us—the hidden mystery of his long-range plan, which he was delighted to implement from the very beginning of time.10 And because of God’s unfailing purpose, this detailed plan will reign supreme through every period of time until the fulfillment of all the ages finally reaches its climax—when God makes all things new in all of heaven and earth through Jesus Christ. (Eph.1:4-10 TPT*)
Beloved of God, if Jesus’ love for you makes you blush, you’re just starting to get it.
9 You have ravished my heart,
My sister, my spouse;
You have ravished my heart
With one look of your eyes,
With one link of your necklace. (Songs 4:9 NKJV)