Yesterday was Josh's littlest sister's wedding. It was fun, of course, and precious to be a part of. All day, I reflected on the beautiful mystery of marriage -- this amazing institution that God designed to be a picture to us of Christ and His church.
Laura was a beautiful bride. She spent a good deal of time making herself and everything at the wedding beautiful. She wanted to be beautiful as she presented herself to her groom. That is a natural desire, of course. However, my mind was overwhelmed with the idea that Christ presents his bride to himself. He chooses her. He purifies and washes her. She does not make herself acceptable to Him, He makes her so.
Jake is a great guy -- and I'm thrilled to have him for a new brother-in-law. He loves Laura, of course. He wants to lead her and care for her. He wants to do her all the kindnesses he is capable of in his finite being. He is just a shadow, a glimpse of the Great Bridegroom who leads and cares for His bride, buying her with a high price, giving himself for her.
Jake's love for Laura is understandable, to a great degree. She is lovable. She is lovely. For the most part, she makes it easy for him to love her. Not so with Christ and His bride. This Kinsman-Redeemer chose a bride for Himself that did not love Him, did not seek Him and was an enemy, deserving the wrath of the Father. Christ showed His selfless love for the church by laying His life down and dying a gruesome death.
What a glorious picture! How marvelous that God has given us this earthly picture of the heavenly mystery. How could Christ love the Church? That the glory of his love might be made manifest. Meditate on these things, dear church. Think of your bridegroom, and recall how you do not deserve the love he gives.