The Most Beautiful Bride in the Universe
Revelations 19:7 «Let us be glad and rejoice, and give him glory ! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. »
I love wedding ceremonies, they’re so beautiful! And I must confess that I am especially fond of cross-cultural or mixed-race weddings, I find them beautiful in a very unique way – filled with creativity and strength. But they also present some great challenges in order to open one’s heart to the culture of the other person which can sometimes be so different from our own.
Revelations 21:2 « I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.»
Last February, I was meditating on this verse and I asked God to «show» me this Bride He is talking about in His word because, to be honest, it was hard for me to imagine a bride having the shape of a city. In my imagination, the elegance of a bride and the rather square and massive side of a city can’t mix together. I waited a moment to give God the time to answer my prayer and then started to appear in my mind the image of a radiant city, but, instead of being made of bricks or concrete, its walls were made of a countless multitude of people! But the most astonishing fact for me was that these people were of every size, every ethnic group, every age, every culture imaginable, and even some that I didn’t even know existed in the world!
I found this image so amazing. The faces of all these people were shining with such joy and there were no signs of tension, of shyness or irritation like we inevitably encounter in our earthly relationships. At that moment, I couldn’t really explain what happened but it was like I had fallen in love with this Bride, as if Jesus had made me feel a tiny little bit of His love for all the human beings, and it was already too great for my heart! For the very first time, I could perceive just a tiny little bit why Jesus was able to choose to give His life on the Cross for this Bride. She was in complete oneness and diversity at the same time which seems impossible when we look at our human ability. For the first time, this unity we hear so much about was no longer just empty words or some conceptual utopia but it was a reality that only the Holy Spirit can create when He transforms our hearts.
I had never been able to understand how Jesus could leave behind His glory in the heavens for mere human beings like us but when I saw this radiant Bride, I could finally grasp how verse 1 and 2 of John 17 are connected when Jesus asks the Father to reveal His glory and right after that He states that He has received power over all human beings so that He may grant eternal life. And I thought : «Ah, so that’s the true power of the blood of Jesus : to render us as beautiful as this by the action of the love of God amongst us!». Suddenly, tears started rolling down my face because I was becoming aware that there was no love at all in my heart for some of these ethnic groups who were a part of this wonderful Bride, I was even feeling distrust, anger, disdain towards some of them. I realized how much this was saddening the heart of Jesus and a cry rose from my heart : «Jesus, teach me how to love your Bride the way you do!»
Since then, God has given me several opportunities to open my heart to ethnic groups that it’s hard for me to love. For example, last week I had the opportunity to meet egyptian and chinese christians whose cultures are usually hard for me to welcome and a miracle happened : without having to do anything special, I started to feel love for them, ths kind of love that goes beyond my human limits, the love of Jesus for His Bride who is perfectly one and diverse at the same time. What about you ? Which ethnic groups are hard for you to love ? Have you ever experienced this miracle of feeling God’s extraordinary love towards specific people or nations ?
Revelations 22:17 «The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!”»
Letting God stretch our hearts to welcome people groups that we have a hard time loving is helping the whole body of Christ to move forward and hastens the return of Jesus. So, let’s let His love flow through us in order to prepare the most beautiful Bride in the universe for the King of kings!
Article by Friends of Raviv’France
written by Gabrielle Olivier