Have you ever had a eureka moment, a moment where the light bulb suddenly illuminates, everything seems so clear and simple, and you could not wait to tell everybody what you had discovered? I will be honest: I will have this happen to me every once in a great while, but it is not too often that it occurs. In fact, when it comes to my God and my religion, there is not much that I understand and these moments can come months or even years in between when I do have them. That being said, I had this happen to me the other day! My first thought was to share it with my family, then my friends, and then on my blog.
I always knew that marriage was a metaphor for our relationship with God. In fact, the Bible uses marriage often as a way to depict the intimacy and closeness with our Creator that He wants to have with us. I always assumed that this was as far as the “metaphor” went, but little did I know that it is so much deeper than that.
Back when Jesus walked the earth, the betrothal went thus: the bridegroom and bride would become engaged, which was as legally binding as a wedding and marriage. It could not be undone except by divorce. During the engagement period, the bridegroom would leave his bride to prepare his household to receive their new family member; the bride would prepare herself and her household for the wedding; and then the bridegroom would return to “steal away” his bride, often at an unannounced time.
Jesus has said, “Let not your hearts be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And wither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” (John 14:1-4)
After Jesus ascended into heaven to be at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for us, He also left to go and prepare a place for us in His mansions. He is preparing for the time when we are to join Him in His heavenly home, and He also left us with the promise that He is coming again to receive us to Him so we can be with Him. He is the way: belief in Jesus and what He has done for us on this earth and in heaven is the way to salvation. So, just as the bridegroom has gone away to prepare a place for his betrothed, so Jesus has “gone away” to prepare a place for us.
Jesus also says, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. … Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” (Matthew 24:13, 44-46) And, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23).
Obviously, Jesus expects some things from us in return while we wait for Him to come back for us. He expects us to do and to live the way that He has taught us in His parables and His teachings. Even when we do not feel like it. It is a way of life. It is non-negotiable. If we do not do what He says to do, we do not love Him. That is what He has said. So just as a bride was to prepare her household for the coming of her bridegroom and wedding, so we are to prepare ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto the Lord, by living the way Jesus tells us to live. (Romans 12:1)
And, just like the bridegroom back when Jesus walked the earth would return to take his bride at an unannounced time, He is returning in the same way. For of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. (1 Thessalonians 5:1, 2) But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. … Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. (Matthew 24:36, 42)