Love is in the air. It’s Valentine’s Day Weekend. If there was anyone who modeled true love, it was Jesus Christ. In His last days on earth, Jesus told His followers that He was leaving them to prepare a place for them in His Father’s house. It’s the same words a groom might speak to his intended bride, fitting the custom of the time when a bride would leave her family and join her husband’s to live in a newly prepared add-on to his family’s home. This intimate image was a signal to the disciples that something greater than friendship would eventually be desired of them. In the divine plan, God wants His followers – like you and me – as close to His heart as possible.
Earlier in his Gospel, John referred to Jesus as the Bridegroom (John 3:29). It’s an image Jesus frequently used of Himself, both in parables and in pointed comments to those who went through religious-gymnastics in His presence rather than rejoicing as if at a wedding. And marriage is a stronger image of relationship than any other in Scripture. We aren’t just clay pots, sheep, or servants. Neither are we merely friends or children. We are all of these and so much more. We are His beloved Bride.
Let’s allow the truth of this image to soak in. God could have used plenty of other human relationships to illustrate His love for us – and He often did – but He took it beyond our imagination with this one. For those of us who have had the honor of being married to our best friend (27 years and counting for me), you know firsthand that there is no greater level of intimacy and affection than this. For God, when it comes to relating to those who love Him, He is the ultimate romantic at heart.
“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:3)
Such intimacy unnerves a lot of people who want only the majesty and dignity of God and not the passion of knowing Him deeply. The Truth is that both sides are true, and one without the other leads either to a cold and distant relationship or a sentimental, casual one. God wants both awe and intimacy, but the ultimate expression of His love is to relate to us as a Bridegroom to the Bride. We know that because Scripture ends with an epic wedding celebration. The betrothal that took place at Sinai (Jeremiah 2:2) is fulfilled at the coming of the Son of God in splendor. And the story really does end with “Happily Ever After.”
Have a love-filled weekend. Make it better by worshiping The LORD with those who enjoy the pleasure of His company and have no doubt the best is yet to come.
All For Jesus – Nothing More, Nothing Less, Nothing Else.
“He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, The King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see, to Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:15b-16)