I just finished writing a personal note to a friend who has recently lost her mother. I ended my note with a quote I have shared at least one hundred times. It is a quote written to me when my mother died in 1995, probably the hardest season of my life. My father had died only six weeks earlier, and grieving over both of my parents was excruciating. During that time I received a letter from a pastor in Nashville, a friend of my mother’s. He wrote words that I have memorized, quoted, researched, taught, and have made into a plaque which hangs above my desk. He wrote:
I anticipate with a glorious forward look
seeing her again
at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.
Seeing her again? Where?
What was so powerful about his words was that they took me to an event, an actual place in the timeline of man. A place that, although I did not know much about, I knew enough to know I wanted to be there. A place where I knew my mother and father would also be. The Wedding Supper of the Lamb.
“Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”
And he added, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19: 9
Throughout Scripture Jesus is referred to as a Bridegroom. The Wedding Supper of the Lamb is that time and place in the future of every Christian when we will meet our Bridegroom face to face. Those invited to the Wedding Supper are believers who belong to Jesus’ beloved bride, the church, who have been called through the gospel of grace.
Of all the varying beliefs of the end of time and of all the things we do not know, we do know this:
Jesus is coming back.
His return is certain, yet will come unexpectedly.
He will be visible and personal.
His return will be glorious.
We will be fully reconciled with God.
We will be with Him and behold Him.
There will be a banquet.
We will worship Him!*
What we also know from Revelation is that our garment for this great occasion is under construction.
Fine linen, bright and clean,was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Revelation 19: 7-8
Each garment unique, created for you alone – created from righteous deeds done while on earth, your goodness and godliness. And all of a sudden, if you are like me, your face falls and you think to yourself, ‘I will have on a slip.’
Don’t fall into that trap. I do not believe He has taken so long to create a slip of a dress for you…
You, who face daily grinding aggravation in the workplace, or with a family member or with an illness that is never going to improve – you may have a dress made of pure iridescent pearl, made from constant aggravation
You, who get up in the night to tend, feed, rock a sick baby when you are sick yourself – you may have a dress adorned with stars, the star you are
You, who make the payment to a school, to a doctor, to a nursing home when you cannot afford it – a rainbow of precious stones, the sacrifice you are making is priceless
You, who forgive adultery or abuse or theft or rape – you may have sleeves glistening from holy tears, saved in a bottle by God, they will not go to waste
You, who live with abuse or rejection or addiction – you may have a skirt of pure gold, gold which is purified by fire
You, who speak words, tender words, loving words, kinds words, understanding words – to encourage, to heal, to save a life – to your children, to your husband, to your mother, to a store clerk- Jesus may pull your words out of the universe and weave them into your garment. Are you aware that scientists have discovered that sound waves never diminish? They go on, inaudible to us, into infinity, our words remain.
You who are waiting, hoping, saving yourself – He sees you and knows you.
Your righteous acts… stars, tears, waters, pearls, gold, jasper, beryl, emerald… look what the Designer of the Universe has to work with.
Your wedding dress is going to be indescribable!
For me, here’s the real kicker. As much as I want to see my mother’s wonderful smile or my father’s tender eyes, I will not be able to peel my own eyes away from my Savior, my King, my Groom. Nothing will be comparable to seeing Him face to face. I expect my questions and fears will simply evaporate. All eyes will be on Jesus. And who will He be looking at with complete focus and tender love? You. And me.
It was the unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right forehoof
on the ground and neighed and then cried: “ I have come home at last! This is my real country!
I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now.
The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this.”
The Last Battle, C. S Lewis
The Wedding Supper of the Lamb. I hope to see you there.
* David Platt, Secret Church: Heaven, Hell and the End of the World