In Revelation 19:6-7, John paints a vivid picture of a feast, celebrating the union of Christ and His collective bride.
Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a huge crowd,
or the roar of mighty ocean waves, or the crash of loud thunder:
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
Let us be glad and rejoice and honor him.
For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb.
However, according to Jesus, we can’t come to the wedding supper of the Lamb without the proper garments. He told the disciples:
“The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son. Many guests were invited, and when the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify everyone that it was time to come…
…the servants brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike, and the banquet hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?’ And the man had no reply. Then the king said to his aides, ‘Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:2-3; 10-14)
In this parable Jesus was likely telling His disciples, “You can’t come to my great wedding feast wearing just anything. You have to be clothed in the proper attire you have to be clothed in righteousness.” And so do we, if we want to attend the wedding supper of the Lamb.
The problem is, we cannot clothe ourselves with the necessary righteousness, regardless of how successful we are in refraining from sin or how many good deeds we manage to squeeze into a day. We can never be good enough. But when Jesus paid the price for us by dying on the cross in our place, the blood He shed canceled our sins and paved our way into the presence of God. He clothed us in His righteousness (Galatians 5:26-27).
That’s why the passage in Revelation 19 continues:
…and his bride has prepared herself. She is permitted to wear
the finest white linen.” (Fine linen represents the good deeds
done by the people of God.) And the angel said, “Write this:
Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” (vv. 8-9)
According to these verses, we, the bride, will be “permitted” to wear the finest white linen at the wedding supper of the Lamb. In biblical times linen was an expensive cloth worn by priests and royalty. It symbolized glorification, purity, loyalty, and faithfulness. Because Jesus has clothed us in His righteousness, we can proudly wear white on our wedding day.
And when we clothe ourselves with the white wedding dress that Christ has purchased for us to wear, we are the fulfillment of all that He has dreamed about from the beginning.
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Excerpted from Completely His: Loving Jesus Without Limits by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.