Wednesday, January 11, 2012
The concept of the Marriage Supper is also better understood in light of the wedding customs in scripture.
At the Marriage Supper the bride and bridegroom are elaborately clothed. Passages of scripture also allude to this practice. They would act and be treated like a king and a queen, even being adorned with crowns. Song of Solomon. 3:11 "Go forth, O daughters of Zion, and gaze on King Solomon with the crown with which his mother has crowned him on the day of his wedding, and on the day of his gladness of heart."
Isaiah 61:10 For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Ezekiel 16:8-13 When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord GOD. “Then I washed you in water; yes, I thoroughly washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil. I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk. I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus, you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth.
If you wanted people to think of the most joyous special celebration they could think of, you would pick the wedding feast. Especially in that ancient Near Eastern culture. People really knew how to do it up big when it came to wedding feasts. The celebration might last for days or weeks. They pulled out all the stops richest of foods and the finest of wines, freely flowing. (John 2:1-12) It is a glorious celebration of all who had faith in God and since they are in a spiritual state there no need for food or drink! Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
The wedding feast to which the saints are invited includes not only the first century saints as the bride of Christ, but others were invited to the wedding feast as well. The "others" include all the Old Testament saints who die in faith like Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob.
In Luke 13, Jesus talked about Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets of Israel–as well as a multitude of people from the east and west and north and south. All of them “reclining at a table in the kingdom of God.” “Reclining at table” That’s the image of an ancient Near Eastern feast, which Jesus uses to describe the kingdom of God.
This are the ones invited. “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9). The main purpose of the wedding feast is “ worship and praising God” for all that He has done. Jeremiah 33:11 'the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say: "Praise the LORD of hosts, For the LORD is good, For His mercy endures forever" and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,' says the LORD
In his vision John saw and heard the heavenly multitudes praising God because the wedding feast of the Lamb the "marriage supper"—was about to begin. Revelation. 19:6-9 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, and as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns. 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." And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. And he said to me, "Write, 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."
There is another very important point that is often overlooked about the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. There are three phases to the marriage supper itself. First, a marriage contract between the parents of the bride and the bridegroom. The bridegroom would pay a dowry to the parents of the bride. This was called the betrothal period, what we would today call the engagement.
The second step usually occurred a year later, when the bridegroom, accompanied by his male friends, went to the house of the bride at midnight with a torchlight parade through the streets. The bride would be ready with her maidens, and they would join the parade that would end up at the bridegroom's home.
The third phase was the Marriage Supper of the Lamb itself, as illustrated Revelation. 19:6-9 What John visioned the wedding feast of the Lamb (Jesus Christ) and His bride (the Church) in its “ third phase, the implication is the first two phases leading up to the Marriage Supper had already taken place.” So there no way Revelation was written after AD 70 when the bridegroom came for his bride.