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Rejoice

 

 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!

For the wedding of the Lamb has come,

and his bride has made herself ready.

Revelation 9:17

 

@Beloved Daughter

 

Reacties

 

 

 

 

 

Worthy is the Lamb

 
* "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" Revelation 5:12 * "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29 * "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" Revelation 5:13 *

"Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready" Revelation 19:7


As you see the Lamb and Christ are used interchangeably in these scriptures. Since Christ was slain for our sins the description aptly fits Him. Let us focus our attention on the verse: "... his bride has made herself ready".
Who is this "bride"? In Ephesians 5:15-16 we read, "...Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless"
Clearly we - the Church is "the bride"! Let's sing: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"  Our wedding with the Lamb is near; as His bride let's make our self ready!

 

http://www.coffee-with-jesus.com





Reacties (1)

 

 

 

  

 

The wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready

 

* "Worthy is  the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and  strength and honor and glory and praise!" Revelation 5:12 * "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29 * "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" Revelation 5:13 * "Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the  Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready"

Revelation 19:7


As you see the Lamb and Christ are used interchangeably in these  Scriptures. Since Jesus Christ was slain for our sins the description of Him as a slain Lamb aptly fits Him. Let us focus our attention today on the verse: "... his bride has made herself ready".


Who is this "bride"? In Ephesians 5:15-16 we read, "...Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy,  cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any  other blemish, but holy and blameless"
Clearly we - the Church is "the bride"! Let's sing: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"  

http://www.coffee-with-jesus.com




Reacties

 

 

 

 

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!

 

"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" Revelation 5:12 * "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29 * "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" Revelation 5:13 * "Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready"

Revelation 19:7


As you see the Lamb and Christ are used interchangeably in these scriptures. Since Christ was slain for our sins the description aptly fits Him. Let us focus our attention on the verse: "... his bride has made herself ready".
Who is this "bride"? In Ephesians 5:15-16 we read, "...Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless"
Clearly we - the Church is "the bride"! Let's sing: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"  Our wedding with the Lamb is near; as His bride let's make our self ready!

http://www.coffee-with-jesus.com

 




Reacties

 

 

 

 

 

Rejoice, O daughter of Zion

 

Rejoice, O daughter of Zion

Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem

For behold your King is coming to you

He is humble and bearing salvation


Because of the blood of your covenant

I will set your prisoners free

You prisoners of hope today I declare

I restore double to you

Lowly and riding a foal

He shall speak peace to the nations

His dominion shall be from the sea to the sea

From the River to the ends of the earth

 

Ted Pierce

 

 

 


Reacties

 

 

 

We Will Dance

 

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him,

for the marriage of the Lamb has come a

nd His bride has made herself ready.”

Revelation 19:7 

Sing aloud, for the time of rejoicing is near;  (women echo)
The risen King, our Groom, is soon to appear.  (echo)
The wedding feast to come is now near at hand;  (echo)
Lift up your voice, proclaim the coming Lamb.  (echo)
 
Sing a song of celebration, lift up a shout of praise,
For the Bridegroom will come, the Glorious One.
And, oh,— we will look on His face.
We’ll go— to a much better place.
 
Dance with all your might, lift up your hands and clap for joy,
For the time’s drawing near — when He will appear.
And, oh,— we will stand by His side,
A strong,— pure spotless bride.
 
We will dance on the streets that are golden,
The glorious bride and the great Son of Man.
From ev’ry tongue and tribe and nation,
We’ll join— in the song of the Lamb.
 
Sing aloud, for the time of rejoicing is near,  (women echo)
The risen King, our Groom, is soon to appear.  (echo)
The wedding feast to come is now near at last,  (echo)
Lift up your voice, proclaim the coming Lamb.  (echo)
 
Sing a song of celebration, lift up a shout of praise,
For the Bridegroom will come, the Glorious One.
And, oh,— we will look on His face.
We’ll go— to a much better place.
 
Dance with all your might, lift up your hands and clap for joy,
For the time’s drawing near — when He will appear.
And, oh,— we will stand by His side,
A strong,— pure spotless bride.
 
We will dance on the streets that are golden,
The glorious bride and the great Son of Man.
From ev’ry tongue and tribe and nation,
We’ll join— in the song of the Lamb,
We’ll join— in the song of the Lamb,
We’ll join— in the song of the Lamb.
 

Lyrics and Music by David Ruis

Reacties
 
Come Away My Beloved


 Come away my beloved,

To a secret place that only you and I can find

Come away my beloved, come away with Me


Only I can understand your pain

Only I can wipe away the stain its left behind

I leave with you, love that will remain

Throughout all time

Come away with me


My Love is greater than the mountain high

My Love is deeper than the ocean wide

It reaches far beyond the furthest mile

Come away with Me.


Come away My beloved.

Let Me take you to a place of no regrets

Let Me hold you in My arms

Come away with Me


I'll come away with You, Beloved

I reach out to You trusting all

You say and do I'll come away with You Beloved.

Here I am take me


Your Love is greater than the mountain high

Your Love is deeper than the ocean wide

It reaches gar beyond the furthest mile.

I'll come away with You


Our love is greater than the mountain high

Our love is deeper than the ocean wide

It reaches far beyond the furthest mile


Come away with Me

Come away with Me

Come away with Me









Reacties

 

 

THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB

Marriage Supper of the Lamb - "Let us rejoice and  be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride  has made herself ready. Marriage Supper of the Lamb -  Revelation 19 v.9 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear."  (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints). Then the angel said to  me, "write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the  Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God".

At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to  me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who  hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the  spirit of prophecy." (Rev. 19 v.7-10)

The marriage supper of the Lamb is a subject greatly  misunderstood, not because of erroneous teaching, but because it is almost  neglected in preaching today. The main source of information concerning this  coming event is found in Rev. 19 v.7-10, which falls into two main divisions:  (1) the marriage of the Lamb, and (2) the marriage supper of the Lamb.

The marriage supper of the Lamb is after the Rapture and following the judgment seat of Christ, where the members of the church will be rewarded for their faithful service (See 1 Cor. 3 v.10-15; 2 Cor 5 v.10). A marriage will take place. The church, "the bride of Christ" and our Lord Jesus Christ will be officially married in heaven. While the earth is suffering through the last throes of the Tribulation, the church will enjoy a heavenly wedding. And then a feast!

The marriage supper of the Lamb was one of the themes on which the Lord Jesus loved to dwell. In many of His stories or parables, He spoke of marriage suppers. For instance, in the parable of the ten virgins, He told about the preparation for the coming of the bridegroom. In Matthew 22 v.1-14 He spoke of the parable of the marriage of the king's son. At this festive occasion the king sent out servants to invite people to come to the blessed event.

Who is the Bridegroom - The question has but one  answer. The Bridegroom can only be "the king's son" of Matthew 22 v.1-14, the  Lord Jesus Himself. In John 3 v.29, long after John the Baptist had introduced  Jesus as "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1 v.29)

John was asked to identify himself. He made it clear that  he was not the Christ; in John 3 v.29 he referred to Christ as "the bridegroom,"  to himself as "the friend who attends the bridegroom [and who] waits and listens  for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice." Clearly  Christ is here referred to as the Bridegroom as well at the Lamb. Thus, Christ  is the Bridegroom at the marriage of the Lamb.

Who is the Bride - A verse of importance is found  in Ephesians 5 v.32. The Apostle Paul, speaking to husbands and wives of their  relationship together, likens the husband to Christ and the wife to the Church.,  He sums it up in v.32 by saying, "This is a profound mystery - but I am talking  about Christ and the church," clearly indicating that the perfect picture of the  relationship between the Lord Jesus and His Church is that of a bride and a  bridegroom.

Therefore when a person accepts Jesus Christ, he or she  becomes a member of the Church, the true invisible Church, and is automatically  espoused or engaged to Christ. This engagement will be finalized at the marriage  of the Lamb.

Where and When Will This Marriage Take Place - The marriage of the Lamb must take place in heaven, for in Rev. 19 v.11, after the marriage of the Lamb and the marriage supper of the Lamb, we find the Lord Jesus coming in what we call "the Glorious Appearing" to set up His kingdom. For this reason we must conclude that the marriage and the supper have occurred in heaven. Their location in Rev. 19 shows these events to have taken place at the end of the Tribulation, just before the millennial reign of Christ on the earth.

Ephesians 5 v.27 indicates the manner in which the Bride  will be presented to Christ: "a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any  other blemish, but holy and blameless." This condition will exist only after the  judgment of Christ when believers have been completely cleansed and the Church  is made whole.

For that reason we believe that the Judgment Seat of  Christ, which will take place during the Tribulation, will precede the marriage  supper of the Lamb, and immediately after the judgment of reward has been  presented to the last believer, the marriage of the Lamb will take place. All  Christians who have trusted in Christ during the age of grace, from the day of  Pentecost to the Rapture of the Church, will make up His Bride.

How Does the Bride Make Herself Ready - We ought  properly to take periodic inventories to see if we are truly serving Christ. In  that Day all unfaithful Christians will rue their unfaithfulness, for it will  not only keep them from the position with Christ they might desire, but will  limit the extent to which they rule and reign with Christ during the millennial  kingdom.

The attitude of the Apostle Paul should characterize every  Christian: "What shall I do, Lord?" (Acts 22 v.10) That kind of attitude will  provide such motivation in believers that they will not only receive a "full  reward" but hear the Savior say, "Well done, good and faithful servant!   Come and share your Master's happiness!" (Mat. 25 v.21)

The Identity of the Guests - Some invited to the  wedding ceremony are guests and not the Bride. Obviously, a bride is never  invited to a wedding supper, nor is a bridegroom. Those who are invited are the  friends of the bride and groom. Who are these friends or guests? It cannot be  the Church because the Church is the Bride.

John the Baptist, one of the last Old Testament saints,  indicated that he was a friend of the Bridegroom. (John 3 v.29) These Old  Testament saints will be in heaven and will have their rewards, but they are not  the Church, not the Bride of the Christ. They are the friends of the Bride and  Bridegroom, who at this point can be seen as the ones invited as guests to the  feast.

So then all the believing dead from Adam until the  resurrection of Christ will be guests at this feast. In addition to them will  appear those who have received the Savior during the Tribulation, both Jew and  Gentile, many of who will have been martyred for the testimony of Christ.

Not to imply that the Old Testament saints are inferior to  the Church, or the body of Christ, but merely to point out that this is a  special blessing for the Church. Now Israel, or the guests at the wedding supper  of the Lamb, have promises and relationships to Him in which we shall not share;  however, the marriage supper of the Lamb is an experience reserved for the  Church.

www.discoverrevelation.com

Reacties

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.     8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.     9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.     8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.     9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Revelation 19:7

 

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The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

 

"Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready."    And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.  And he said to me, "  Write, '  Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'  "    And he said to me, "  These are true words of God." 

            -  Revelation 19:7-  9

 

      Recently at a prophecy conference I was ask if there was a difference in the Bible between the marriage of the bride (the church) to the Lamb and the marriage supper of the Lamb.  I answered that I believe that Scripture indicates that there is a difference in these things and that they are two events that will take place at two different times in history.  Let me show you why I think this way.

 

The Marriage of the Lamb

      According to Revelation 19:7, the bride, (which is made up of the corporate and collected members throughout the church age taken to heaven at the rapture), makes herself ready for an impending event.  How is the bride or the church made ready?  She is made ready by clothing "  herself in the fine linen bright and clean,"   which is said to be "  the righteous acts of the saints."    This statement means that by this point in history (right before the second coming), the sum total of the bride, the body of Christ, is in heaven and has already gone through the bema judgment where church age believers are to be evaluated for their faithfulness to Christ during this present age (Rom. 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10).  The result of going through the judgment seat of Christ results in the bride being given fine linen that Revelation 19:8 says, "  is the righteous acts of the saints."    This is how "  His bride has made herself ready."    Ready for what?  She has made herself ready for the marriage of the Lamb.  Thus, within the framework of the symbolism being used in this passage, it means that the marriage (marriage ceremony) takes place right before the second coming.

      Later, Revelation 19:14 says, "  And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses."    Thus, having been newly married to the Lamb, the bride begins her role in history of reigning at the right hand of Christ (Rev. 3:21) by accompanying her new husband in the heavenly accent from heaven on white horses in order to participate in the judgment of Armageddon at the second advent.  Arnold Fruchtenbaum further explains as follows:

 

The wedding announcement will be made (v. 6) and the Bride will finally be made ready (v. 7).  The reason the Bride will now be fully ready for the marriage ceremony is because she will have her entire bridal gown on (v. 8). . . .  this also show that the marriage ceremony takes place after the Judgment Seat of the Messiah, when the saints are rewarded for their deeds on earth (1 Cor. 3:10-  15). . . .  This corresponds to the ritual cleansing of the Jewish wedding system.  The ones present at the marriage ceremony are the "  few,"   that is, only those in Heaven at that time.[1]

 

The Marriage Supper

      It is at this point that many Christians today often confuse the marriage of the Lamb with the marriage supper of the Lamb.  But they are two separate events that occur at two different times in history.  Revelation 19:9 says, "  Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb."    This passage clearly has a forward look anticipating a future time.  It cannot refer to anyone in heaven since the church (the bride) is the only redeemed entity in heaven.  However, after the second coming when believers from other ages will be resurrected (Dan. 12:2) along with tribulation saints, both mortal and resurrected ones (Rev. 20:4), these will be the invited guest who will be guests at this celebration supper.  I believe that the marriage supper will be during the first part of the millennial reign of Christ.  Fruchtenbaum says:

 

Hence, the "  many"   who are bidden to attend the marriage feast on earth are all the Old Testament saints and the Tribulation saints resurrected after the Second Coming.  While the marriage ceremony will take place in Heaven just before the Second Coming, the marriage feast will take place on earth after the Second Coming.  In fact, it would seem that the marriage feast is what begins the Millennium or the Messianic Kingdom; the Church'  s co-reigning with the Messiah will start with a tremendous marriage feast.[2]

 

      There are some New Testament passages that speak of Christ eating and banqueting in the kingdom are in my opinion references to the celebration related to the marriage supper of the Lamb.  What are some of these passages which strongly imply that the celebration of the marriage supper commences in the millennial kingdom?

 

Matthew 8:11

      This passage says, "  And I say to you, that many shall come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in thekingdom of heaven."    Here is a picture of the redeemed of the ages (from Adam to John the Baptist) sitting down with Christ in the kingdom and enjoying a meal together.  These are likely the invited guest that we see spoken of in Revelation 19:9, since they are redeemed human beings from the ages who are not part of the church, the Bride of Christ.  In this way there will be guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb who will be able to celebrate the marriage of the second person of the Trinity to His bride-  the church.

 

Luke 13:28-  29

      The statements made by Jesus in this passage have some parallels to the things He said in Matthew 8:11, but there are also some differences.  It says, "  There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth there when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being cast out.  And they will come from east and west, and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God."    This is in the context of Christ rebuking the Jewish leaders of His day who were advocating rejection of the Messiahship of Jesus to the nation.  The leaders of Israel at this time thought that they were in league with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the prophets, when in reality they were opposed their message by not recognizing Jesus as their long promised Messiah.  Therefore, others will come from the four-corners of the world and experience the fellowship of the kingdom.  This dining with the Messiah will likely commence with the celebration that will take place at the marriage supper of the Lamb.  Like in Matthew 8:11, these others are the invited guests mentioned in Revelation 19:9.

 

Luke 22:16-  18, 29-  30

      This is an important passage in relation to the marriage supper of the Lamb.  We read in Luke 22:16-  18 the following: "  for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.  And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, "  Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes."    This is called the Lord'  s Supper, which Jesus inaugurated for the soon to be born church to practice until His return to get His bride.  Christ'  s promise not to not eat or drink again until He does it when the kingdom comes, means that He will not be celebrating His marriage supper in heaven before He descends at His second coming with His bride.  Here He says the next time he eats and drinks will be at the coming of the kingdom, which will start at the beginning of the thousand years of His reign upon earth.

      The above stated idea is reinforced at the end of the Luke 22 passage when Christ says the following in verses 29 and 30: "  and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."    Once again, Jesus speaks of eating and drinking during the kingdom.  This is the time when we will commence personal fellowship with our Saviour.  Thus, it follows that this will be the time when the marriage supper of the Lamb, celebrating with the various redeemed of the ages Christ'  s taking of a bride.

      When the two parts of Luke 22 are combined it supports the notion that the marriage supper of the Lamb, mentioned specifically in Revelation 19:9 will take place during the millennial kingdom time frame.  Matthew 26:29 is a parallel passage to Luke 22 and says, "  But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father'  s kingdom." 

 

Parable of The Wedding Feast

      Matthew 22:1-  14 does not teach about a supper or feast in the kingdom, but this parable does picture a wedding feast (verse 4) similar to what most likely will take place at the beginning of the millennial kingdom when the Father'  s Son celebrates the marriage supper of the Lamb.  Thomas Figart explains the purpose how this parable pictures the marriage supper of the Lamb when he says:

 

At first glance it may seem inappropriate to refer to the "  kingdom of heaven"  as a marriage feast for the son (Christ) of the king (the Father) since the Church had not even begun.  Indeed, how could Christ be presented to Israel in this royal fashion before His death?  But when the parable is take as a whole, it can be seen as including the rejection of the Son, the destruction of Jerusalem and the judgment of unbelievers at the return of Christ to the earth. . . .  The fact is the Jews had already rejected Him by the time this parable was given, and it is His way of showing some of the events which pertain to the succeeding years, even up to and including His return to earth.[3]

 

Thus, this parable is a picture of the wedding feast or supper that will take place in the kingdom, but many of those who thought they would be there (non-elect Israel) will be absent.  Likewise, many who were thought to have not even been invited will show up as legitimate guests at this important event in history.  This is why it says in Revelation 19:9, "  Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." 

 

Conclusion

      Though the marriage of the Lamb to His bride (the church) and the marriage supper of the Lamb are closely related, they are separate events, just as the wedding ceremony and the wedding reception of our day are separate events.  In fact, these two events are often held at two different locations, just as the marriage of the Lamb will be in heaven right before the second coming (Rev. 19), while the marriage supper of the Lamb will commence with the beginning of the millennium.  Perhaps some are confused and fail to make these distinctions because the word marriage is used to refer to both events.  By comparing Scripture with Scripture and distinguishing the things that differ, it appears clear that they are two separate events.  The most important thing for anyone to consider is whether they will be invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.  I hear there are going to be some interesting guests there.  Make sure you are one of them by trusting Christ'  s gift of salvation through simple faith in Him and His gracious work on the cross that paid for the sins of all those who believer.  Maranatha!

 

by Thomas Ice

 

 

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Here Comes the Bride…And the Lamb

 

The Mass and the Heavenly Wedding Feast Edward P. Sri From the Oct 2000 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine

Have you ever thought of the Mass as a wedding feast? When thinking of the Mass, the words “liturgy,” “communion,” “real presence,” or “sacrifice” may easily come to mind. But a marriage? Yet throughout Church history, from the early Fathers to the mystical poetry of St. John of the Cross and the theological writings of Pope John Paul II, Catholic tradition has described Holy Communion- the culmination of the Liturgy-as an intimate union with our divine Bridegroom, Jesus, in the Eucharist.

We can understand how the Mass is a wedding feast by turning to the Book of Revelation.

 

Apocalypse Now

The Book of Revelation often scares people-not just because of the prophecies of woe and judgment about the end times which many people have derived from the Apocalypse, but also because this mysterious book seems difficult to understand. With symbolic numbers, strange beasts, various groups of angels, and apocalyptic seals, trumpets, and bowls of wrath throughout the narrative, decoding this last book of the Bible can seem quite intimidating.

While the Book of Revelation is most known for providing signs about the end of the world, the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out that it offers much more: It offers us important signs for our times. The Catechism teaches that the Book of Revelation reveals to us the heavenly liturgy in which the angels, Mary, the saints, and all the martyrs worship God in union with the pilgrim Church on earth (cf. Catechism, nos. 1137-38). “It is in this eternal liturgy that the Spirit and the Church enable us to participate whenever we celebrate the mystery of salvation in the sacraments” (Catechism, no. 1139).

Looking at the Book of Revelation with these insights from the Catechism can help us approach this mysterious book in a whole new light. We begin to notice that the narrative is filled with priests, liturgical vestments, candles, incense, hymns, readings, responses, and people singing “Alleluia” and “Holy, Holy, Holy” on “the Lord’s day” (Rev. 1:10), the day of Christian worship. In doing so, we begin to realize that much of the Apocalypse involves worship of God around His throne in heaven-a worship into which we enter whenever we go to Mass.

 

I Stand at the Door and Knock

Let us begin our study with Revelation 3:20, a passage with which many Christians are familiar: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” This verse has been depicted in a famous painting of Jesus gently knocking at a door that has no handle on the outside. The painting symbolizes how Jesus “knocks” at the door of our hearts, but the only way He can enter more deeply into our lives is if we let Him in from the inside.

From a biblical perspective, many commentators have noted how this passage echoes a verse from the Song of Songs-the Old Testament book which contains a series of love songs involving a bride and groom. In Song of Songs 5:1-2, the bridegroom knocks on the door of the bedchamber, calls for his beloved, and issues an invitation to a banquet. The bride responds, “Hark! my beloved is knocking” as the bridegroom cries out, “Open to me, my sister, my love.”

In Revelation 3:20, Jesus echoes these words of the bridegroom as He stands at the door and knocks, inviting us to a banquet with Him-a banquet which in light of the Song of Songs passage would be understood as some type of marriage feast. With this in mind, we can see that Jesus wants to enter a profound intimate union with His people like that between a husband and bride.

What is not often noted about this famous biblical verse, however, is how the meal points specifically to the Eucharistic banquet. When the verse is read in its entirety we see that Jesus makes an important allusion to the Eucharist: “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” The word for “eat” (deipneo in Greek) in Revelation 3:20 is used elsewhere in the New Testament to refer not just to any ordinary meal, but primarily to the Lord’s Supper (cf. Lk. 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25). Thus, this intimate wedding-like feast which Christ our Bridegroom wants to share with us could be understood as the communion of His body with ours in the Holy Eucharist.[1]

 

Knocking on Heaven’s Door

We can appreciate the liturgical importance of this passage most fully if we consider how the Book of Revelation uses the image of the door just three verses later in Revelation 4:1. In 3:20, Jesus stands at the door and knocks, waiting for us to open the door, so he can come in to us and banquet with us. In 4:1, John has a vision in heaven, and behold, he sees an open door! Where does this door take him? Into the heavenly worship of the angels and saints gathered around the throne of God.[2]

Here in this vision, the open door leads John to a chorus of angels- thousands of them-worshipping the Lord (5:11-12). He sees the prayers of the saints rising like incense (5:8). He observes priests dressed in liturgical vestments falling down before the throne, giving glory to God and singing a new song to the Lord (4:4,10; 5:8-14). And he hears four cherubim ceaselessly singing “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty . . .” (4:8).[3]

 

The Lion and the Lamb

At the center of this heavenly worship is Jesus, who is described as the long-awaited “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (5:5). This was a traditional Jewish symbol for the triumphant Davidic king. John uses it here to show how Jesus is the victorious King of kings worthy of honor and worship from all of heaven and earth. But in the very next verse, John tells us that this almighty Lion King, worthy of all praise, appears as “a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain” (5:6).

How is it possible that the all-powerful, triumphant “Lion of the tribe of Judah” is a defeated, bloody, dying lamb “standing, as though slain”? The imag of the slain Lamb recalls the lamb sacrificed at Passover in order to spare the Israelite firstborn sons in Egypt. Here alongside the royal image of the Lion of the tribe of Judah in Revelation 5:5-6, the image of the slain Lamb shows how Christ established His kingship not through political power or military might, but through His sacrifice on the Cross, offering His life to save us like a Passover lamb.

This is why the myriads of angels cannot contain their joy as they contemplate the mystery of Christ’s work of redemption in this heavenly worship. The Lion King has conquered sin and death by offering himself up as the Passover Lamb slain on Calvary. Thus, they cry out: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (5:12).

John must have had an amazing experience being caught up into this awe-inspiring worship of the Lamb in heaven. Yet, if only we could view the Mass with the eyes of angels, we would see what John has seen-the heavenly liturgy of the angels and saints gathered around God’s throne. Indeed, John’s vision in Revelation 4- 5 gives us a glimpse into the celestial worship which we actually enter into every time we go to Mass. Whether it be High Mass on Sunday at St. Peter’s in Rome or a simple weekday Mass in a small parish church in the countryside, we approach the throne of God in worship with the cherubim, elders, angels, and saints singing “Holy, holy, holy . . .” as we celebrate the sacrifice and victory of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Now we are ready to look at the climax of this heavenly liturgy in the Book of Revelation: the wedding supper of the Lamb in chapter 19. Here we will see that the celestial worship culminates in the revelation of the Lamb of God as our divine bridegroom-a bridegroom who wants to enter us and banquet with us in Holy Communion as Revelation 3:20 had subtly foreshadowed.

 

“Hallelujah!”

In Revelation 19:1-6, we find the multitudes in heaven along with the angels and elders singing to the Lord again, but this time they sing a new song. Four times they shout out “Hallelujah!” in their praise of God. This is significant because the important liturgical word “Hallelujah” (which means “praise Yahweh”), while found many times in the Old Testament, is used only four times in the entire New Testament. And all four instances occur right here in rapid-fire succession in these six verses from Revelation 19.

This sudden chorus of “Hallelujah’s” in Revelation 19:1-6 would bring to mind the famous “Hallel Psalms” of the Old Testament (Psalms 113-18). This group of Psalms is called “Hallel” because they often begin or end with “Hallelujah’s,” praising God for His works of redemption. What is interesting is that these Hallel Psalms were the songs which the Jews would sing during the Passover meal. They sang “Hallelujah” in praise of Yahweh who rescued Israel from the Egyptians in the Exodus and who would redeem His people once again. In fact, these are the very songs which Jesus would have sung during His final Passover meal, the Last Supper, when He instituted the Eucharist (cf. Mt. 26:30; Mk. 14:26).

 

The Wedding Supper of the Lamb

This background may provide an important clue for understanding the last of the four “Hallelujahs” in Revelation 19-a turning point in the heavenly liturgy, when the great multitude resounds in praise of God for the supper of the Lamb:

Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready . . .

(Rev. 19:6-7).

And the angel instructs John to write: “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9).

What is this festive supper of the Lamb? It is the Lord’s supper, the Eucharist. First of all, the supper and the Lamb bring to mind the Passover supper in which Jews would sacrifice a lamb and eat of it as the main course of the meal. Further, when we read about a Lamb’s supper within the chorus of Hallel Psalm-like Hallelujahs in verses 1-6, the Passover allusions become even more evident. Thus, this climactic supper of the Lamb is clearly some type of Passover meal, and in light of the liturgical framework of the Book of Revelation, it would be understood as the new Passover of the Eucharist.

But this passage tells us something even more dramatic. In Revelation 19:6-9, the Lamb is revealed to be a bridegroom! And that means this Passover supper is a wedding feast! The Bridegroom-Lamb is Jesus, and the Bride represents us, the Church, whom Jesus is coming to wed. Indeed, this is the wedding feast in which the Lamb unites Himself to His Bride, symbolizing the final consummation of the union between Christ and His Church (cf. Rev. 21- 22; Eph. 5). Through the Eucharistic liturgy here on earth, we can participate in this heavenly marriage between Jesus and the Church as a foretaste of the communion we hope to have with our divine Bridegroom for all eternity in heaven.

Here we see that Holy Communion is truly just that: the most profound union on earth that we can have with Our Lord who truly comes in to us through the open door of the liturgy (cf. Rev. 3:20; 4:1). In this light, the Mass really is a wedding feast. Like a bride who longs to be one with her groom, so our hearts should be filled with ardent longing for Holy Communion with our divine Bridegroom, whose very Eucharistic body enters into ours in the most intimate way possible. Just as a bride and groom become one flesh in marital union and then become fruitful and multiply, so does Our Beloved unite Himself to us, so that He may fill us with His life and bear fruit in our lives spiritually. Indeed, receiving the Eucharist is an ineffable union of love with Our God. As the priest says at Mass, echoing the invitation to the wedding banquet of the Lamb in Revelation 19:9: “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

[1] Donal A. McIlraith, The Reciprocal Love Between Christ and the Church in the Apocalypse (Rome: Columban Fathers, 1989), 68-69.

[2] Scott Hahn, The Lamb’s Supper (New York: Doubleday, 1999), 129.

[3] For a more detailed discussion of these and other liturgical themes in the Book of Revelation, see Scott Hahn, The Lamb’s Supper.

Edward P. Sri is assistant professor of religious studies at Benedictine College in Atchison, KS. He is the author of Mystery of the Kingdom (Emmaus Road Publishing). See ad below for more details

 

October 2000 by Edward P. Sri

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A Wedding for the Lamb

Revelation 19:1-10

    

Before I begin today’s sermon, I have a confession to make. I have to tell you something about myself that I have never told you before. Most of you would probably never guess this about me, but have to tell you anyway. So here it goes: I Love Weddings! I love everything about weddings. And I suppose this is a good thing, because as a pastor, I perform a lot of them.

Before the ceremony, I love to laugh at the groomsmen as they stand around and try to figure out how to pin a boutonniere to their tuxedo, until a woman comes along and does it for them. I love seeing the couple’s family members gather together, even the strange ones that they never thought would show up, but had to invite because they are family. I love to see the nervous look on the groom’s face, when just seconds before it is time to walk onto the platform, and I ask him, “Are you sure you want to go through with this?”

During the ceremony, I love hearing the familiar notes of Pachabel’s Canon playing on the piano as the bridesmaids glide to their places, flowers in hand. I love to see the cute little ring bearer and flower girl doing their best to fulfill their responsibilities and walk in a straight line at the same time. I love watching the groom’s face light up as the bride walks down the aisle in a radiant gown and a hair-do that took four hours to make. I love to hear the bride and groom declare their love and make their vows to one another. I love to watch those big teardrops run down the mother’s cheeks as they say to themselves, “I’m losing my baby.” I love to see the smiles on the father’s faces as they say to themselves, “I don’t have to pay for them anymore.”

After the ceremony, I love attending the reception. I love the hors ‘devours, the cocktails, and the mingling with guests, and I especially love when the Master of Ceremonies says “The bridal party has finally finished their photographs and dinner will begin in a few minutes.” I love watching the newlyweds so elegantly cut their cake and then smash it in each other’s faces like a great demolition derby of butter cream icing. I love the listening to the toasts, watching the dancing, and taking in the whole celebration.

Like I said, “I love weddings!” How about you? Can you remember the last wedding you attended? What did you love about that wedding?

It is interesting to think about the fact that every culture in the world has some sort of wedding custom or tradition, and it has been this way for thousands of years. In biblical times, wedding celebrations typically lasted a week. We remember that even our Lord Jesus attended a wedding in the village of Cana, where he performed his first miracle—changing water into wine. Although wedding customs differ in different places, they all have at least three things in common: a commitment, a ceremony, and a celebration.

Since weddings are some the greatest celebrations on earth, it is no surprise that Jesus’ return to earth is depicted as a wedding celebration. After Revelation 18 gave us a glimpse of the funeral for civilization—that is the future collapse of the world political/economic/religious system, Revelation 19:1-10 shows us the great wedding for the Lamb.

A Wedding Songs (1-8)

The wedding of the Lamb begins with a series of praise songs sung by different choirs. They all sing and shout the Hebrew word “Hallelujah” which means “Praise the Lord!” Surprisingly, “Hallelujah” only appears in the Bible here in Revelation 19. These songs praise God for various aspects of his character and work.

 

The First Choir- The Saints in Heaven (1-3)

The scene opens with the apostle John hearing the roar of a great multitude in heaven—no doubt this is the saints who remained faithful to Jesus Christ on earth but have died. Back in Revelation 6, the saints in heaven prayed for God to avenge their blood by bringing judgment to the earth, and now they sing praise to God for answering their prayer and destroying the great prostitute who corrupted the earth and persecuted them.

They praise God for his salvation, glory, power, truth, and justice, all essential aspects of God’s character. God showed his salvation by delivering his people from the sinful world. He displayed his incomparable power and glory by overthrowing the evil world system. He proved his justice and truth by judging those who rejected the testimony of God’s truth.

In verse 3, the saints in heaven even echo a second “Hallelujah” as they rejoice over the finality of God’s judgment on the world. The phrase “The smoke from her goes up forever and ever” is a metaphor for the eternality of God’s judgment.

 

The Second Choir- The Angel’s in Heaven (4)

The second choir at the Lamb’s wedding also sings a song of praise to God. The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures of verse 4 are all high ranking angels. They fall before God’s throne as a gesture of humility and respect and join the chorus by singing, “Amen, Hallelujah.” By saying “Amen”, they are agreeing with everything that the saints in heaven just sang. And then they add their own hallelujah to further endorse the praise that is already being attributed to the Lord.

 

The Third Choir- Jesus in Heaven (5)

In verse 5 another voice joins the great choir that is singing praise to God. This voice is unnamed but it is identified as coming from the throne in heaven. Throughout Revelation, when we hear a voice coming from the throne, it has always been the voice of Jesus. Therefore, it is most likely Jesus himself who joins the chorus of singing praise to his Father here.

His praise also bears a command for “all you his servants to praise God, you who fear him, both great and small.” This is a reference to all Christians in general—therefore, all Christians are to sing praise to God.

 

The Fourth Choir- Everyone in Heaven (6-8)

Like the grand-finale of a fireworks display or the crescendo of a musical masterpiece, in verse 6 all the voices in heaven come together for the final “Hallelujah” of the Lamb’s wedding song. It was so loud and triumphant that it sounded like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder. They begin by praising God for his omnipotence and sovereignty. He has shown his great power and control by bringing down the evil world system and he is about to show it again by ushering in his kingdom.

And then there is the great doxological declaration for everyone to rejoice and be glad and give God the glory because it is now time for the long awaited wedding of the Lamb. Just as the guests at an earthly wedding erupt in applause when the Master of Ceremonies announces the arrival of the wedding party, everyone in heaven explodes with joy and gladness at the news of the arrival of the bridegroom, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who died to take away the sins of the world.

The church, which includes everyone who has truly trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, is the bride. The church has been preparing herself for this day by living holy lives, doing righteous acts, and being faithful to Christ, despite temptation and persecution. This is a picture of that wonderful day that Jesus returns and is rejoined with his people and he takes them to live with him in heaven forever.

Those of you who are truly Christians are part of the church, and the church is the bride of Christ. What are you doing to prepare yourself for the wedding of the Lamb? Are you living a holy life? What kind of righteous acts are you doing? Are you resisting temptation and enduring persecution? Are you living a life of faithfulness to Jesus Christ?

 

The Wedding Invitation (9-10)

This whole wedding scene closes with an angel commanding John to write down this beatitude: “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb.” This line presents a different perspective on the wedding metaphor of verses 7-8. There the bride, the corporate church, was viewed as about to wed the Lamb, but now the individual Christians are pictured as guests at the wedding banquet. Both pictures highlight the intimate communion of Christ with believers, but he first focuses on the corporate church and the second on individual members of the church.

This beatitude speaks to each one of us directly today. We have to remember, this feast and celebration is by invitation only. There are no wedding crashers in heaven.

The reality is that we are all blessed because we have all been invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb. If you didn’t know it before, consider yourself invited now! The only question is: Will you respond? Will you commit to Jesus Christ today and reserve your place at the wedding supper of the Lamb?

As I confessed at the beginning of this sermon—I love weddings! I have been blessed to attend some pretty good ones in my day, and I bet you have too. But none of them will compare to the wedding of the Lamb that will take place when Jesus returns. I hope to see you all there!

By jmcconnell

 

 
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The Wedding of the Lamb - Lyrics

 

 The victory - the glory

The power of our God

The time for us is come

The wedding of the Lamb

The victory - the glory

The power of our God

For the time for us is come

The wedding of the Lamb


And for us is come salvation

From the beginning it was meant for all creation

Now His plan has come to man

Now all His saints will sing with jubilations


He will come on clouds of glory

It was meant that all would hear redemption's story

God in man, fulfilling His plan

Now all His saints can love Him and adore Him

 

Words and music: Greg X. Volz



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