We’ve been exploring the theme of God’s redemption story through various meals in the Bible. The first meal took place in the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve traded fellowship with their Creator, for a bite of something forbidden. As tragic as that meal was, it was only an appetizer of what was to come. If humanity’s story began with a forbidden bite at a garden table, and redemption is pictured at the Last Supper table, the consummation of the story will happen at a feasting table of the marriage supper of the Lamb.
We read about this future feast in Revelation 19. For the reader who diligently makes their way through Revelation, chapter 19 comes as a welcomed sigh of relief. The chapter begins, “After these things…” which refers to the tribulation events and divine judgments that will be poured out on earth. The camera mercifully shifts from hell on earth, to the heavenly wedding ceremony between Jesus Christ, and his bride, the Church.
Four times, John records the angelic and heavenly chorus crying out “Hallelujah!” (19:1, 19:3, 19:4, 19:6). The word ‘Hallelujah’ is often used in the Psalms, but this is the first usage in the New Testament. It’s like the praise for the Almighty has been bottled up too long, and heaven can’t contain herself any longer. The culmination of redemptive history has finally come, and it’s time for the Wedding to take place.
The Marriage of the Lamb Has Come
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure” for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
Revelation 19:6-9, ESV
If the marriage supper of the Lamb seems too fantastical to be true, I pray these seven truths would strengthen your hope, and cause you to rejoice with a few ‘hallelujahs’ of your own.
1. We’ll see him as a Lamb
Of all the places you might envision Jesus as a conquering lion, and not as a sacrificial lamb, it would be in the book of Revelation. Immediately after his wedding feast, he rides into battle to judge the beast and the kings of the earth with the armies of heaven behind him. But at his wedding feast, he’s seen as a Lamb. Why a lamb? Because in order to present his bride as beautiful, spotless, and pure, he sacrificially bore her sins on the tree.
2. We’ll be happy to be invited
In the most understated fashion, the angel tells John to write that those who are invited to this marriage supper of the Lamb are “blessed”, or literally “happy” to be there (Rev 19:9). This is the fourth of seven “beatitudes” in the book of Revelation. Seven is often representative of completeness and perfection. (If you’re curious about the others, Rev 1:3, Rev 14:13, Rev 16:15, Rev 20:6, Rev 22:7, Rev 22:14.) All who are saved, will experience this blessedness, or happiness. While we’ll rejoice that we’re there, amazingly, many will reject the King’s invitation to his marriage supper (Matt 22:14).
3. We’ll be satisfied forever
A bride looks forward to her wedding day with a different kind of anticipation than her guests. When it finally comes, she rejoices that her waiting is over. Since the fall, all of creation has been groaning under the weight of sin. While death and sin were issued a fatal blow at the cross, we’re still longing for the new creation and the new earth. When our bridegroom takes us to be his bride, we’ll never be in want again.
4. We’ll have no fear
Fear is intermingled with joy, even at the happiest of weddings. But at this marriage supper, there will be no fear of the future and no grief from sin. What joy will fill our hearts because the old order of things will have passed away, and all things will be made new (Rev 21:4)! Our eternal state will be blissful happiness.
5. We’ll be dressed appropriately
No need to worry about what to wear, because our bridegroom will make sure our garments reflect the beauty and purity of our status before him. Our clothing will be bright pure linen which represents our righteous acts. On that day, and every eternal day after, we’ll never have to suit up in spiritual armor again. Instead, we’ll stand behind our Savior, who is our Victor.
6. We’ll sing of the Lord’s right to rule and reign
Read the heavenly chorus again. The hallelujahs center on the character of the Lord, who is “Almighty” and the one who reigns. There is no rival or equal to the Almighty. There will be no other small “s” saviors, anti-Christs, or false prophets to be seen. Only Jesus and all of heaven worshipping him in his rightful place as Ruler of heaven and earth.
7. We know these sayings are true
If you’re tempted to believe this is too good to be true, the angel reminds John (and us), “These are the true words of God” (Rev 19:9). What is true? Jesus, himself, is described as “Faithful and True” (11). So, if you trust in Jesus for your salvation, you can have equal confidence that these things will come to pass.
Restless Hearts Will Be Satisfied
Saint Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in him.” This scene is the rest and satisfaction we’ve always longed for. Can you let your imagination and your confident expectation take you there? Jesus as our Sovereign King, will one day take us, his beautifully adorned royal bride, to be his forever. This wedding feast will be the most spectacular party in human history, and it will put all other royal weddings to shame. On this blessed day, the hope of all mankind will be finally realized. This is a time for celebration, and the wine that’s been fermenting for ages past is finally ready to be opened.
“On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.”Isaiah 25:6,8
Hallelujah, the marriage supper of the Lamb is coming! Are you among the “blessed” who are happy to be invited? Jesus says to all, “Come!” He is the satisfaction you’ve been longing for, he is the feast for your soul.
Happy to be feasting with you,
P.S. This post completes the Taste & See series. I admit I have very mixed feelings about reaching the end. Perhaps the greatest privilege has been mine as I’ve tasted and seen the Lord’s goodness for myself at his various tables. But it’s for you dear readers, that I’ve been writing. I hope these posts have nourished your soul in various ways. Do you have a favorite? I’d love to know!