I recently read some interesting stories about taking baths. In times gone by, the family tub would be filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of immersing himself first in the nice clean water. Then came the rest of the boys in the house. The wives and daughters came next and last of all the babies were washed in that water. As you might imagine, the tub would be so dirty that you might be able to actually lose someone in it. And thus we have the expression, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”
Since most people took their yearly bath in May, June was a good month for your wedding. Apparently they still smelled pretty good by then. However, since they were beginning to stink a bit, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. And hence, we have the custom today of the bride carrying a bouquet as she walks down the aisle.
I was thinking about that wedding custom as I just read through Revelation chapter 19 and saw the reference to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. From my understanding of eschatology (study of biblical end times), this celebration takes place during the seven year tribulation period. After the multitude has shouted and praised God with four raucous “Hallelujahs,” verse seven begins to describe the heavenly marriage supper.
This heavenly ceremony mirrors the kind of celebration that Jewish culture would dictate. The process would begin with a betrothal that would last for about 12 months. During that period of time, the groom prepared a home for his bride. When the home was ready, the bride would be adorned with as many precious stones as the family might own. She and her friends would wait for the arrival of the groom (see Matthew 25). There would be singing and dancing as the couple traveled to their new home. The celebration would then peak with a grand wedding feast that might last seven full days.
With those details in mind, can you put yourself into the scene in Revelation 19? We (the church) are the bride and we will be adorned in fine linen (which is made up of the righteous acts of the saints) and presented spotless to our groom. The groom, Jesus Christ will accept His bride (us) and what a celebration ensues! Dressed in perfection (accomplished by the groom) we begin our eternal lives with the Son of God.
Maybe as we start this new year it is a good time to adjust our perspectives and think a bit on what is coming in the future for the believer. Those of us who have placed our faith and trust in the work Christ did on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins…well, a great party awaits us. Ruminating on those details can change the way we behave this week. Remember… because of Him, we have much to anticipate!