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30

You're Invited to the Ultimate Wedding!

Have you ever wondered why Jesus turned the water into wine at a wedding feast as his first miracle? He could have walked on the water, raised the dead or fed 5,000 people, all of which he did later. What does this first miracle tell us about Jesus?

If you go to a wedding as a single person, what do you think about? You probably think about your own wedding. Is it possible that Jesus was thinking about his own wedding?

Wait a minute! Jesus never married. Yes, that’s true, but the Bible says Jesus is going to marry. His wedding feast or party will be the ultimate wedding of all time! The good news is that YOU’RE INVITED!

Before I tell you how you can RSVP or accept his wedding invitation, let’s look at Jesus as Lord of the marriage feast.

When the wine taster of the feast in Cana tasted the wine that Jesus made from water, he said to the bridegroom, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” (John 2:10). He thought the bridegroom had provided the wine. He didn’t know that Jesus had turned the water into wine. Like a lot of people, he didn’t know Jesus is the Lord of the wine!

Have you ever thought of Jesus as the Lord of the wine, Lord of the marriage feast or the life of the party? Few think of Jesus as the Lord of the marriage feast who provides the best wine for his guests.

Jesus will always be the Lamb of God who gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins. Certainly, his sacrifice on a cruel cross for our sins was no party. He bore the judgment we deserve and rose from the dead to show he had conquered death that he might offer eternal life as a free gift to all who believe in him.

When Jesus returns, he won’t come as a suffering servant. He will return as a triumphant king ready to throw the biggest party in the universe for his bride! You don’t want to miss this party! I’ll tell you who Jesus is going to marry in a moment, but let’s look at Jesus’ response to his mother when she told him there was no more wine at the wedding party.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with me? My hour has not yet come,” (John 2:4).

Huh? What could Jesus mean by this response, which sounds illogical and perhaps harsh? What does Jesus’ hour have to do with wine? Let’s find out.

When Jesus spoke of his “hour” at the Cana wedding feast, he spoke of his crucifixion. Immediately before eating the Passover Feast or the Last Supper with his disciples, Jesus said, “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name,” (John 12:27-28a).

The idea of being separated from his Father as he bore the judgment for our sins was a thought so terrible that Jesus prayed for a way out. But there was no escape. The hour came when Jesus screamed on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).

At the Last Supper, Jesus used wine as a symbol for his own blood that he would pour out as a payment for our sins. “Then he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins,’” (Matthew 26:27-28).

“In order to drink the cup of joy with us at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, Jesus had to drink the cup of eternal justice at the cross,” said Tim Keller in his sermon entitled Lord of the Wine. “We can only have Jesus’ joy through his sorrow.”

In the midst of all the joy of the wedding at Cana, Jesus is sipping the coming sorrow of his own death.

Also at the Last Supper, Jesus said of the wine, “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom,” (Matthew 26:29).

In the first century, Jewish men proposed to Jewish women by offering a cup of wine with these words, “This cup represents a covenant in blood.” By taking a sip from the cup, a woman accepted the proposal. The couple would not drink of this cup again until their wedding night, according to scholar Dr. Ryan Messmore.

The betrothed or engaged Jewish man would go to his father’s house and build a room for his bride. The couple wouldn’t see each other for about a year. When asked about the date for the wedding, the groom would say, “Only my father knows.”

When the room was ready, the groom with his family and friends would go to his bride’s house to claim her as his wife.

Jesus told his disciples: “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3, NIV).

Jesus is following the Jewish betrothal custom. He could return at any moment to claim his bride for what the Bible calls the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. The question remains, “Who is Jesus going to marry?”

Jesus is going to marry the church. Most people think of a church as a building, but the Bible speaks of a church as the assembly of believers. Jesus’ bride is the universal church that consists of all people from all time who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior.

When the Apostle Paul wrote to Christians in Ephesus, he said, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” (Ephesians 5:25).

The future habitat for Christians is called the New Jerusalem: “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband,” (Revelation 21:2).

Jesus is the ultimate lover. He’s the only lover who can fulfill your soul. Jesus gave his life so that you might live eternally and abundantly. The major picture we have of heaven is not people floating on clouds playing harps. Listen to Jesus’ own description of his kingdom, “I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,” (Matthew 8:11, NIV).

A feast is a party! Jesus will return as bridegroom to take his bride as Lord of the feast. Jesus wants you to be there when the party begins.

Maybe part of the reason God created weddings, and even the very institution of marriage, was to create a longing in us for a perfect relationship, absolute love and complete unity. A longing He will fulfill at that Ultimate Wedding. Hope to see you there!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16).

Believe in Jesus today to secure your place at his wedding feast!

 

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