Royal weddings are special events. They provide a spectacle not to be missed. The bride’s dress is first a subject for speculation and then a cause of wonder and admiration as she steps from her coach into the sunlight. The bridegroom, though usually higher in rank, takes second place.

The invited guests and members of the two families have privileged seats and bask in the borrowed light until the end of the day.

The wedding invitations usually go out to friends and family. Parents of the bride are the hosts. It is both a marriage celebration and a farewell feast to the bride who henceforth will establish home with her husband.

That is how it is normally done and the customary things take place.

But Not Always!

There is a notable, royal exception. The invitation has gone to the bride, and, most exceptionally, the marriage supper and the bride’s dress will be provided by the bridegroom and the bridegroom’s father.

Perhaps the greatest surprise of all is that the Groom and the Bride have never seen one another. They have never truly met.

No, it is not an ‘arranged’ marriage. The Bride knows all about the Bridegroom, nothing has been kept secret. Better still, the Groom has chosen the Bride. And, in answer to the age-old question, ‘Will you go with this man?’ she has said, ‘Yes, I will go.’

The Wedding Invitation

This is like no other royal invitation: it suffers dreadful treatment for the most part … the wedding is not cancelled and it will be more splendid and more glorious than ever any wedding has been. The Bride will be there in white with inwrought gold and she will enter with gladness and rejoicing into the king’s palace. The Blessed Couple will delight altogether in each other and their love will never fade.

What then about the way in which the invitation is treated?

First, we must look at the Bride’s mother.

The Mother of the Bride

She is most unusual: she is a city! Her name is Jerusalem which is above—the mother of us all!

What kind of daughter can such a mother have? What will she look like?

“And I John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2)

It is said amongst humans that all good marriages are made in heaven. That is certainly true in this case. This beautiful bride has been fashioned in the divine workshop in heaven. How can this be? Is the bride really in heaven? No. This is the heaven of the Divine Architect. According to His drawings, the bride is fashioned on earth. But she will not be revealed in all her beauty until the Bridegroom himself is also on earth.

Why Has the Bridegroom Never Seen His Bride?

Simply, because a large part of her is dead and with the living part she awaits the call:

 “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away,
 For, lo, the winter is past,
 The rain is over and gone;
 The flowers appear on the earth;
 The time of the singing of the birds is come and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
 The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with tender grape give a good smell.
 Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.” (Song of Solomon 2:10-13)

That will be a day such as has never been seen, the bride is mustered from the sleep of dust and together with the living, and after the judgement, she will be clothed in the Spirit’s garments:

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour unto him:
 For the marriage of the Lamb is come,
For the bride hath made herself ready, And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white:
For fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Revelation 19:7-8)

This momentous time commenced at Calvary when the spear-thrust spoke of the New Eve to be taken from the side of the Greater-than-Adam. It is consummated in the twinkling of an eye when this corruption shall put on incorruption.

What of the Wedding Invitation?

It was issued from the Royal Palace of heaven and bears the imprint of Christ himself. Why, then, is it in part so shamefully regarded? Never was an invitation so royally given and never before were the invitees promised the most precious of gifts. Was the invitation not accepted? Certainly, there were some who said ‘No.’ But the greater disappointment lies with those who have accepted. Many of them will not be at the weddingsupper. It is not the Bridegroom who has changed his mind, for he is ever faithful.

No, it is those who, though part of the would-be bride, have proved unfaithful in their betrothal. Some have lived lives not worthy of the Bridegroom; others have loved someone else more than the Bridegroom; whilst others have been neglectful, as though the Wedding Day would never come or they rarely gave it a serious thought.

Too late, they discover the awful truth—it is Christ or nothing. The alternatives, whether deliberate choices or negligence, are mere illusions. Without Christ there will be no life, none whatever. Instead of eternal and glorious happiness, there will be the silence of dust after maddening remorse and, too, a realisation of their betrayal of the One who loved them.

Wise or Foolish?

Ours is the choice. In the mirror of our own friendships, engagements and weddings, we should always see Christ. He transmutes the passing things of this life into promises and patterns of the golden age to come.

Carry the wedding invitation next to your heart and remember:

“Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. These are the true sayings of God.” (Revelation 19:9)