v.7-8 “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
The great multitude of voices continues to resonate with the announcement that the long-awaited union of Christ and His Bride has come. Thereby leading us to a fifth reason why heaven is rejoicing.
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”
With the awareness that His kingdom is about to come the realization that the Lamb’s holy marriage is also about to come; thus exciting gladness and joy and adulation to the Lord God omnipotent from the heavenly host.
Okay, let’s consider it.
The imagery of marriage is a theme the New Testament uses to portray the union between Christ and the Church. We see this beautifully illustrated in Ephesians where our relationship to Christ is prefigured by the symbol of marriage (Eph. 5:22-32), again in Corinthians where it speaks of us as “betrothed” to Christ (2Cor. 11:2), and then in Romans where it says we shall be “married” to Christ (Rom.7:4).
So the Bridegroom is Christ and the Bride is the Church. And the joy in heaven is caused by the knowledge that the long-awaited union of time and eternity between Christ and His Bride (whom He purchased with His own blood on Calvary as the spotless Lamb of God) is near and about to begin.
“His wife has made herself ready.” Following rapture, in heaven we will appear before the bema seat of Christ (2Cor.5:10) to have our earthly works put to fire. The wood, hay, and straw are burned off and we are rewarded for the gold, silver, and precious stones that remain (1Cor.12-14). Afterward, I believe we do indeed become pure and made like Christ (1Jo.3:2) and therefore made ready for the marriage.
“And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” All sin and remnant self-righteousness will have been exposed, judged, and purged at His judgment seat. So we have become pure, holy, and righteous.
Therefore we are granted to wear a new and pure gown of fine linen, clean and bright, to enter His holy presence. This is the same type linen worn by the angels (see—Rev.15:6), so it does not merely clothe us in righteousness, but reveals our righteousness in full glory.
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isa.61:10)
v.9 Then He said to me, “Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” And He said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
During John’s time, wedding customs essentially regarded the “marriage” and the “marriage supper” the same, to which friends and neighbors were invited to celebrate the betrothal for seven, or even fourteen days, followed by the bride being taken to the bridal chamber.
It is very difficult to offer a definitive time when this ceremony takes place but I tend to think that it occurs during the Millennium and will be attended by all the saints, past before the Church and future following the rapture. And clearly, the New Jerusalem will become our eternal home (see notes—Rev.21:2).
“Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” This concerns the guests, not the bride. For a bride is never invited to her own wedding. So who are these that are called unto it? These are all those (past and future) who have responded in true saving faith to the gospel invitation (check—Matt.8:11, John 3:29).