Revelation 19:1-10: A Wedding and a Feast
“After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting:
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
2 for true and just are his judgments.
He has condemned the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth by her adulteries.
He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.’
3 And again they shouted:
The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.’
4 The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried:
5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying:
‘Praise our God,
all you his servants,
you who fear him,
both great and small!’
6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and be glad on
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
8 Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.’
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
9 Then the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ And he added, ‘These are the true words of God.’
10 At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.’ NIV
Once again, Old Testament roots are showing through here. In the first part of the Bible we see Israel portrayed as God’s bride (see for example Isaiah 54/55). We also find there the theme of God’s great banquet with a wide invitation given to many (Isaiah 25:6-10). Jesus Himself used the theme of a king’s marriage supper for his son (Matthew 22:1-14; see also Matthew 25:1-13). He also hinted at the related theme of having appropriate clothing for the event. Tom Wright says that this moment, described in Revelation 19, is what the world has been waiting for ever since Genesis 1. Looked at from one angle, the Bible tells a great love story. God and His people are going to be married. They will be together for ever, and there will be a ‘happy ever after.’
Note how differently God’s ‘’bride’’ is dressed (7b/8), compared with that gaudy prostitute Babylon (18:16). Our clothing says a lot about us. The church’s dress is a gift of sheer grace:
‘’Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear’’ (8). She didn’t earn it. It’s a precious gift.
A child once asked a preacher why Jesus never got married. His reply: ‘One day He’s going to be!’