The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Bible Book: Revelation  19 : 1-10
Subject: Heaven; Marriage Supper of Christ

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Dr. J. Mike Minnix

In Revelation 19:1-10 we discover an amazing and wonderful coming event in God's plan for His saints. This event is called the Marriage of the Lamb. The children of God are pictured in different ways in the Bible, for example we are called God's sheep or lambs. In another place we are called the sons of God. In yet another instance we are referred to as Christian soldiers. Yet again, we are termed citizens in the Kingdom of God. Each illustration is used to make a point about who we are in Christ. No single comparison is sufficient to describe the complex and glorious nature of those whom the Lord has saved.

In our text today we note that the Christian is illustrated as a bride. This, of course, is not the first time such an illustration is used in the scripture to describe those who belong to the Lord, nor is it the last occurrence in the Bible.

Look at 2 Corinthians 11:2 …

"I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him."

Paul points out that all the saints are like a bride promised to one husband, even Christ, who is the Bridegroom.

In Psalm 45 the writer prophetically points forward to the time when the bride will stand next to the Bridegroom. This is a direct reference to the redeemed Church standing with Christ.

We can look forward in Revelation 21:2 and read the following …

"I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband."

So we see the illustrations of Christ as a Bridegroom, and the Christian as a Bride, and we note that this is one typology depicting Christians which is foudn in the Scriptures.

When we read Revelation 19, we are reading a passage that tells what it is going to be like when the actual marriage of the Bride (the Church) and the Bridegroom (Christ) takes place in heaven. This is a coming event which is literal and symbolic. So let’s look at what is going to happen when all the redeemed souls are gathered before the Lord in heaven for the marriage of the Lamb. But, before we take this wonderful look at Revelation 19, let’s cover one detail which may help us understand this passage.

Are we as Christians not already the Bride of Christ while here on earth? Yes and no! In Bible days a couple became engaged in a different way than is observed in our modern era. In biblical times the parents of the couple usually agreed upon the marriage while the participants to be were very young. In such cases, the young boy and girl were involved in a ceremony in which they were espoused or committed to each other. They were not married but they were promised to each other. They were to remain chaste in regard to the opposite sex, including not being intimate with each other until they were married. This was the state of the relationship which existed between Joseph and Mary when she was visited by the Lord and informed that she was going to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Today, the saved people of the earth are espoused or promised to Christ. On a day to come, we will be wed to Him in a great ceremony in heaven. That is what this passage in Revelation refers to. Now let's consider Revelation 19:1-10 ...

1 After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! 2 For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” 3 Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!” 5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!”
6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” [NKJV]

I. The Gladness of the Songs 19:1-7a

Every wedding has music and the music is part of the expression of wonder and joy at the wedding. The same will be true when the marriage of the Lamb takes place in heaven. Revelation 19:1-7a contains the four stanzas of the wedding song to be sung in heaven at the Marriage of the Lamb. One might well call this, “The Hallelujah Chorus of the Marriage of the Lamb.” There are four great hallelujahs sung just before the wedding begins.

A. Hallelujah for His Redemption

Salvation belongs to our Lord, and He has wrought this redemption through His glory and power. Barclay points out that His salvation deserves our gratitude; His glory deserves our reverence; and His power deserves our trust! Hallelujah, because in truth and wisdom He has redeemed those who have put their trust in Him.

B. Hallelujah for His Resolution

He has resolved a great problem. The smoke of judgment against the Babylonian system goes up forever and ever. Never again will the system of Satan wreak havoc in the earth. At that point in heaven, we can say that forever God has brought an end to the power of sin.

C. Hallelujah for His Reign

God has occupied His throne in heaven up until the time of the marriage of the Lamb, but at that point in time when the marriage occurs He is going to take the thrones and kingdoms of this world for His own. The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. Hallelujah!

D. Hallelujah for His Remembrance

You cannot fully appreciate the words of Revelation 19:7a (rejoice and be glad) unless you see a companion verse to it. Look at Matthew 5:12. Note that Jesus told us to rejoice and be glad whenever we are persecuted for His sake. He went on to say that our reward would be great in heaven.

Interestingly, in no other place in the New Testament does the exact phrase, "Rejoice and be glad" exist, except in Matthew 5:12 and Revelation 19:7. In Revelation 19:7, the saints of God rejoice that God has not forgotten any sacrifice, suffering or sorrow which came about because of service to and for Christ. Hallelujah, He remembers. The reward in heaven is just as He promised - it is greater than all our sorrows here combined. As Paul told us, our sufferings here are not be compared with our glory when we see Jesus. Hallelujah, indeed!

II. The Gown in its Splendor 19:7b-8

During Biblical days, people were two garments, one on top of the other. One was an inner robe and the other an outer robe. Both seem to be pictured in the passage before us.

Certainly one element of a wedding, which is foremost today, is the beauty of the wedding dress. The bride appears at the door, the music starts and she enters. Everyone strains to see the dress she is wearing. On the day Christ weds the Bride in heaven, the gown the saints wear will be brilliant and glowing. It is important, however, to see an important nuance in the way the wedding gown is presented.

A. The Inner Garment

The inner garment is the righteousness of Christ given to us a gift. This is the garment to cover us, just as God covered Adam and Eve with animal skins in the Garden of Eden after they had sinned. This part of the gown comes at great cost, for it cost the Lord Jesus Christ His life at the cross. Any other covering but this will result in expulsion from the wedding.

Look at Matthew 22:11-14…

"But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' For many are invited, but few are chosen."

This garment is given to those who come to Christ and receive Him as Lord and Savior. It is a free gift to us, an expensive gift, which Jesus gives to all those who repent of sin and place their trust in Him.

B. The Outer Garment

The indication is that the outer garment we will wear at the wedding will be made of the deeds and works we did for our Lord while we were on earth. That does not mean that we get into the wedding based on our good works, it does mean that we will wear something on that day which we have been created by our deeds while living on earth. This is a sobering thought and one that should call on every Christian to so live as to honor Jesus at the wedding feast in a gament worthy of His glory.

Most important in this passage, however, is the fact that Christ has made us pure, clean, and ready for the wedding.

Look at Ephesians 5:25-27 …

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless."

III. The Gathering to the Supper 19:9

Next, John refers to the guest who are invited to the Wedding Banquet. The wedding is one thing, the banquet is another.

A.The Exultation

“Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper.”

This tells us that there will be great joy at the supper. Can you imagine the menu? Our Lord who fed 5,000 with the lunch of a little lad is going to provide the food. The one who could turn water into wine is going to set the table. Oh, dear friend, this is a meal you do not want to miss.

B.The Invitation

Note, however, that there are some present who are not part of the Bride but are guests or friends of the Bridegroom.

Look with me at John 3:29 …

"The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete."

Here we see that John refers to himself as the friend of the Bridegroom and not the bride. All those who lived and trusted in God's salvation prior to Christ are friends of the Bridegroom. All those who accept Jesus in the Church Age are part of the Bride of Christ.

Jesus spoke about the significance of that in Matthew 11:11 …

"I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."

Friend, any 8 year old boy or girl in here today who is a Christian is greater than John the Baptist. Why? Because that saved child is part of the Bride of Christ. On the day of the wedding feast, the Bride will sit with Christ and all the saved of the Old Testament will be invited. Don't feel sorry for them, the Bible says they will be extremely blessed to be in that position. John the Baptist even said in his lifetime that he was filled with joy just to be the friend of the Bridegroom.

But if the Old Testament saints will be glad to merely be friends at the Wedding Supper, how much greater should be our joy because we are the Bride of Christ. No wonder this passage contains four great hallelujahs!

IV. The Groom in the Spotlight 19:10ff

Lastly, let’s look at the central figure at the wedding supper. The focus on that day will not be on the Bride, as is the case in earthly weddings. It certainly will not be on the guests. It will not be the four living creatures or the angels numbering thousands upon thousands. It will be Jesus Himself who stands in the spotlight of history and eternity. The Lamb will come forth and we will sing, "Here comes the Groom, Here comes the Groom!"

A.The Central Figure in Heaven

Without question, Jesus is the central figure in heaven. The entire Book of Revelation centers on Him. He has been given a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.

B.The Central Figure in History

Look at the verses following verse 10 and note that Jesus is going to come back to this earth and close down history as we know it. He is going to usher in the great 1,000 reign of His glory and power. Jesus is the central message of the Bible, the central figure of heaven, and the central figure of history. That is the point made at the end of verse 10.

"For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." What does that mean? It means this. All prophecy points to Him. All history is moving toward Him. All hope is bound up in Him.

1. Prophecy is not about facts; it is about a Figure - Jesus!

2. Prophecy is not about plans; it is about a person - Jesus!

3. Prophecy is not about what is going to happen; prophecy is about who is going to come to straighten things out.

Will you be in that number, when the saints go marching in? You can be. Make your reservations for the Marriage of the Lamb today - receive Christ as your personal Savior!