"Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." Revelation 19:7
We have arrived at the last reward for the sacrificial, obedient followers of Jesus in the Millennial Kingdom. This one is my personal fav. First, let's review. The faithful servants of Jesus on this earth will get to be as children. They will get to serve in the very courts of Jesus as priests. Lastly, they will get to be the object of His passion and love…as His Bride!
We mentioned earlier that the Bible distinguishes between the free gift of salvation and the rewards of the faithful, obedient servants who will get in on the first resurrection and get to reign with Jesus during the Millennial Kingdom (coming soon!).
So now the bride. In a household, would you rather be the bride or the offspring ? The bride receives the passion of the groom; she's his pride and joy, the object of his devotion and affection. She has all the rights and privileges as a co-parent.
In his book, Eternity to Here: rediscovering the ageless purpose of God, Frank Viola explores this beautiful picture in depth of the Father (God) who has a Son (Jesus), and who looks for a fitting Bride (faithful believers) for His Son. The Father establishes a home (New Jerusalem) for the Son and His Bride to live in happily ever after. Frank goes on to show how many "Son and Bride" pictures there are throughout the Bible:
- Adam and Eve
- Isaac and Rebekah
- Jacob and Rachel
- Joseph and Asenath (Gentile bride!)
- Moses and Zipporah (Gentile bride!)
- Boaz and Ruth (Gentile bride!)
- David and Abigail (possibly a Gentile bride)
One of my favorites, because of all the pictures involved of the budding romance between Jesus and His Bride, is the story of Isaac and Rebekah. Consider the following from Genesis chapter 24.
Cast of Characters:
Abraham (God): The "Father," wealthy and rich beyond measure who has an only Son for whom he tries to find a bride.
Isaac (Jesus): The "only Son," who is the promised "seed" of Abraham has a miraculous birth (his mom is 80 and barren!) and was offered as a sacrifice by his father. Isaac is the heir of all the wealth of Abraham.
Rebekah (Believers): That beautiful girl who will be the Bride of the only Son.
The Servant Eliezer (Holy Spirit): The servant who is sent to find the bride. Eliezer means "God is our Help." He helps woo the bride to "Isaac."
Some cool points from the story:
Rebekah cannot be related to the Canaanites but must come from "Abraham's family." Canaan was not of the house of Abraham and was cursed.
Rebekah must be willing to leave Chaldea, which is in Babylon. Babylon throughout the Bible (Genesis through Revelation) is known for idol worship and captivity.
Rebekah is specifically chosen.
Rebekah must be willing to follow "the servant" as he guides her to a place she has never been before.
Rebekah is found near a well at the end of the day (compare: The Bride of Christ is found by the Living Water at the end of the age).
She is beautiful, she's a virgin (pure), and she is diligent/hardworking (a camel can drink forty gallons of water and she watered all his camels).
She is willing to leave behind everything in order to follow the servant to her betrothed-even though she has not laid eyes on Him yet. She learns to love him before she sees him.
The servant takes Rebekah on a long journey to her Isaac. Throughout this journey, the servant is revealing to Rebekah all the characteristics and qualities of his master Isaac-her bridegroom to be.
So there you have it—three compelling, motivating rewards for faithfulness in this life. It definitely motivates me on those no good, very bad days! I hope you feel the same. Will you join me and run this race to win? Let's cross the finish line, not looking back, straight toward our prize as Paul says in Philippians 3:13-14: Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.