The Bride of Christ
The Holy Bible begins and ends with a marriage. The first marriage occurred in a pristine place called the Garden of Eden. The last marriage will occur in heaven.
The way that God created Adam and Eve prefigures the way the Lord Jesus Christ brought the Church unto Himself.
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." (Gen. 2:21-23)
God did not create Eve the same way that He created Adam out of the dust of the ground. In creating Eve God put Adam in a deep sleep. In the Scriptures a deep sleep signifies death (Jn. 11:11-14; 1 Thes. 4:13). When God took the rib from Adam’s side blood must have flowed out from it.. This prefigures the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross.
“But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe.” (Jn. 19:33-35)
When the soldier pierced the Lord’s side with a spear Jesus had already died. Through His death and shedding of the Lord’s blood God created the Church.
“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28)
“And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,” (Rev. 5:9)
Genesis 2:22 states, "he brought her to the man." This is a picture of God acting like the father of the bride, escorting her down the aisle in order to present her to the bridegroom.
The relationship between a man and his wife beautifully portrays the intimate fellowship between the Lord Jesus Christ and the Church.
“For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is the great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.” (Eph. 5:30-32)
There are some examples in the Old Testament that typifies the bride as the Church.
The story of Abraham sending his servant out to retrieve a bride for his son Isaac is widely accepted as allegorical to the heavenly Father sending out His servant, the Holy Spirit, to retrieve a bride for His Son (Gen. 24:1-4; Jn. 14:16).
“Now the young woman was very beautiful to behold, a virgin; no man had known her. And she went down to the well, filled her pitcher, and came up.” (Gen. 24:16)
Rebecca aptly typifies the Bride of Christ. She was a chaste virgin thus representing the Church that is faithful only to the Lord Jesus Christ. Her filled pitcher with water represents the Church that is seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. The apostle Paul wrote:
For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity* that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted--you may well put up with it! (2 Cor. 11:2-4)
“These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.” (Rev. 14:4-5)
Some Bible expositors look at Song of Solomon’s portrayal of “My dove, my perfect one, is the only one,” as the Church (Songs 6:9) but the preceding verse “There are sixty queens and eighty concubines” presents problems. Our Lord Jesus Christ never married, needless to say, He did not have sixty queens and eighty concubines. Solomon wrote “Song of Solomon” and dedicated it to his favorite wife when he had a smaller harem. When he became older he increased his harem to seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines who turned away his heart from the One True God. “So the LORD became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the LORD God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.” (1 Kn. 11:9) Song of Solomon does not give us a good example of the Bride of Christ.
There are prophetical allusions and descriptions of the bridal relationship between the Church and the Lord Jesus Christ in other Old Testament passages.
“For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.” (Isa. 62:5)
There are many times that the Word tells us that God rejoices over us. This is the only place that says how He rejoices, "like a bridegroom over a bride."
"And it shall be, in that day," Says the Lord, "That you will call Me 'My Husband,' And no longer call Me 'My Master,'” (Hos. 2:16)
Here Hosea is speaking of the day when the Lord Jesus Christ returns. In that day He will be the Church’s husband. That will be the day when the Bride is ready to meet her Bridegroom
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' " And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God." (Rev. 19:7-9)
The marriage and the marriage supper of the Lamb takes place in heaven in the future when the Bride has made herself ready. God is now preparing the bride for that great event.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:25-27)
Just as the bridegroom will only come when the bride has made herself ready, so our Lord Jesus Christ will come when the Church becomes “a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”
Many Christians look at the Church as an organization and do not see themselves as making a personal effort and commitment to become perfect. “Now you are the Body of Christ, and members individually.” (1 Cor. 12:27). The Bride of Christ consists of individual Christians who are one hundred percent faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ and His teachings They place Him in the center of their hearts. They follow Him wherever He went. They have righteous acts that will exalt the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Therefore you “shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Mt.5:48).
Here is how the marriage of the Lamb will take place.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thess. 4:16-17)
Let us get ourselves ready for the Bridegroom to come to take the Bride to heaven for the marriage of the Lamb and rejoice with Him in the marriage supper.