Meeting Jesus As Judge
The depth of intimacy with our Lord affords a liberty and honesty in our relationship like no other. No one will ever know us to the minutest detail as He. We have great assurance and confidence in Him, knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us. Jesus, as the perfect Husband, exhibits an unparalleled patience with His bride. He affords us an extended grace period or honeymoon, where we become secure in His undying love. When our relationship is strong and stable, as King, He is also faithful to begin to reveal truth to us about our character. He shows us weaknesses and flaws that do not conform to His image and likeness. Jesus is a faithful Bridegroom/ King who confronts us, and works in us to conform our character to His likeness.
We are a Bride Awaiting Our Bridegroom
Jesus is returning for a bride that is without spot or wrinkle. We know that Jesus must have a bride that bears His image. The bride, who is the church, must make herself ready (Rev. 19:7-8). If we examine the betrothal process of the Hebrew culture, we can begin to understand how to embrace the intimate relationship the Lord desires.
It was customary for a Hebrew young man to prepare a Ketubah, a marriage contract (a covenant), which he presented to his intended bride and her father. Included in this covenant was the Bride Price, an appropriate gesture in Jewish society meant to compensate the young woman’s parents for the cost of raising her. In addition, and more importantly, the payment was considered an expression of the man’s love for his intended bride. This betrothal covenant was legally binding once the bride and her family accepted the terms of his Ketubah.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, We had everything before us, we had nothing before us. We were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens opens his classic, A Tale of Two Cities with a series of paradoxical statements that paints a vivid picture of tumultuous times in England and France. The year is 1775, and while England is soon to lose its grip on the American colonies, France is soon to face total anarchy as the peasants arise to overthrow a corrupt and decadent regime. England is rife with crime and France with poverty. While life for the nobility was exquisite, the lower class struggled to survive. The plight of the times raised serious questions about man’s ability to rule justly and the desire of man’s heart to serve selflessly.