After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
2 for his judgments are true and just;
for he has judged the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth with her immorality,
and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
3 Once more they cried out,
The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”
4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 5 And from the throne came a voice saying,
“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
you who fear him,
small and great.”
6 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.
7 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;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
9 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.” 10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. –Revelation 19:1-10 [ESV]
We occasionally receive “SAVE THE DATE” cards and quasi-invitations. A wedding is upcoming. An anniversary celebration is in the offing. A dinner party is being planned. Recently, however, after receiving the SAVE THE DATE card, we didn’t receive the follow-up invitation. Turns out that this dinner party invitation was sent by someone other than the one who sent the SAVE THE DATE card, and things got very mixed up in the process. We even got a phone call from the hostess, “Are you coming?” Yes. Did you receive the invitation?” No. That can happen. Well, it actually did happen. And we were glad for the phone call and personal invitation.
On another occasion the follow-up invitation arrived well enough. But it got stuck behind some other pieces of mail or desk detritus, and we never RSVP-ed to the invitation. Again, a phone call rescued us from missing the wedding and reception following. We told the kind woman who called that we had it on our calendar but didn’t actually receive the invitation. OOPS! But all’s well that ends well. And the wedding was delightful and the reception pleasant enough.
You may not realize that invitations to attend weddings or receptions are not high on my wishlist. In fact when a professor at the seminary told us that he hated weddings and would prefer a funeral any day, I was offended…until I did my first wedding. And then a funeral. Oh my! People are ready to listen to the word of God at a funeral. People are ready to get to the punch bowl and wedding cake at a wedding. Thankfully that isn’t always true, I hasten to add. But it is too often more true than I’d like it to be.
This wedding invitation – the wedding feast of the Lamb of God – is one no one would want to miss. Two simple reasons for this:
- (1) It is the wedding of the King of the Universe. He’s been quiet, humbly-hidden, and our most lasting image of the Lamb of God is of him on the throne of the cross. But this will be dramatically different. He will make a glorious appearance. The feast will be far better than any feast we have ever experienced. Choice wine. Fine meat. A full and glorious spread.
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.
7 And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
8 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.
9 It will be said on that day,
“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” – Isaiah 25:4-6
- (2) We will be with all the redeemed of God and every impediment to the richest and most blessed relationships will be utterly gone. Uncle Eddie will be polite and respectful. Aunt Edna will be gracious and understanding. You will be celebrated. I will be content. We will all be at perfect peace. We’ll all be stunned by the grace of God who has invited us to the feast and provided it to us at such a great cost: the death of the Lamb of God…who now reigns in fullness of grace and glory.
Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. These are the true words of God. You don’t want to miss this party! Neither do I.