Bridegroom and the
Wedding Super of the Lamb
Matthew 9:14-15 Then John's disciples came and asked him, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?" 15Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
Matthew 25:1-13 The Parable of the Ten Virgins 1"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6"At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' 7"Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.' 9" 'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.' 10"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11"Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!' 12"But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.' 13"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Mark 2:18-20 Jesus Questioned About Fasting
18Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, "How is it that John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?" 19Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. 20But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.
John 3:27-31 27To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. 28You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.' 29The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30He must become greater; I must become less. 31"The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.
Revelation 19:6-8 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.
7Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
8Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)
Revelation 21:1-3 The New Jerusalem 1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
Revelation 21:9-10 9One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." 10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
Revelation 22:16-18 "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." 17The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
The [Holy] Spirit and the bride (the church, the true Christians) say, Come! And let him who is listening say, Come! And let everyone come who is thirsty [who is painfully conscious of his need of those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, and strengthened]; and whoever [earnestly] desires to do it, let him come, take, appropriate, and drink the water of Life without cost.
2 Corinthians 11:2
For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ.
"What does it mean that the church is the bride of Christ?"
Answer: The imagery and symbolism of marriage is applied to Christ and the body of believers known as the church. These are those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their personal savior and have received eternal life. In the New Testament, Christ, the Bridegroom, has sacrificially and lovingly chosen the church to be His bride (Ephesians 5:25-27). Just as there was a betrothal period in biblical times during which the bride and groom were separated until the wedding, so is the bride of Christ separate from her Bridegroom during the church age. Her responsibility during the betrothal period is to be faithful to Him (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:24). At the Second Coming of Christ, the church will be united with the Bridegroom, the official "wedding ceremony" will take place and, with it, the eternal union of Christ and His bride will be actualized (Revelation 19:7-9; 21:1-2).
At that time, all believers will inhabit the heavenly city known as New Jerusalem, also called “the holy city” in Revelation 21:2 and 10. The New Jerusalem is not the church, but it takes on the church’s characteristics. In his vision of the end of the age, the Apostle John sees the city coming down from heaven adorned “as a bride,” meaning that the inhabitants of the city, the redeemed of the Lord, will be holy and pure, wearing white garments of holiness and righteousness. Some have misinterpreted verse 9 to mean the holy city is the bride of Christ, but that cannot be because Christ died for His people, not for a city. The city is called the bride because it encompasses all who are the bride, just as all the students of a school are sometimes called “the school.”
As believers in Jesus Christ, we who are the bride of Christ wait with great anticipation for the day when we will be united with our Bridegroom. Until then, we remain faithful to Him and say with all the redeemed of the Lord, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).
Question: "What is the marriage supper of the Lamb?"
Answer: In his vision in Revelation 19:7-10, John saw and heard the heavenly multitudes praising God because the wedding feast of the Lamb—literally the "marriage supper"—was about to begin. The concept of the marriage supper is better understood in light of the wedding customs in the time of Christ.
There were three major parts of these customs. First, a marriage contract was consummated between the parents of the bride and the bridegroom, and the parents of the bride would pay a dowry to the bridegroom or his parents. This was called the betrothal period, what we would today call the engagement. This period was the one Joseph and Mary were in when she was found to be with child (Matthew 1:18; Luke 2:5).
The second step usually occurred a year later, when the bridegroom, accompanied by his male friends, went to the house of the bride at midnight with a torchlight parade through the streets. The bride would know this was going to take place, and so would be ready with her maidens, and they would join the parade that would end up at the bridegroom's home. This was illustrated in the parable of the virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. The third phase was the marriage supper itself, which might go on for days as illustrated by the wedding at Cana in John 2:1-2.
What John’s vision in Revelation pictures is the wedding feast of the Lamb (Jesus Christ) and His bride (the Church) in its third phase, the implication being that the first two phases have already taken place. The first phase was consummated on earth when each individual member of the Church, the body of Christ made up of believers, placed his or her faith and trust in Christ as Savior. The dowry paid to the Bridegroom’s Parent (God the Father) would be the shed blood of Christ on the cross on the Bride’s behalf. Now the Church would belong to Christ in the sense of betrothal and, like the wise virgins in the parable, all would be watching and waiting for the appearance of the Bridegroom (the Second Coming). The second phase symbolizes the Rapture of the Church when Christ comes to claim His bride and take her to the Father's house. The marriage supper then follows as the third and final step.
The wedding feast to which the saints are invited includes not only the Church as the bride of Christ, but others as well. The "others" include Old Testament saints who are going to be raised at the Second Coming, as well as the martyred dead of the Tribulation who form the multitude. As the angel told John to write: “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9)