There are so many things that considering that Christians as the brides of Jesus Christ, God the Son and true Man, spotless and worthy by His Blood, makes plain and clear.
Such a thought so perfectly fits and describes so much of the glory of our faith and salvation. St. Paul writes that the woman and man who unite are made one flesh, and the soul saved by the Lord, united with Him, is married to Him as one spirit with Him – the union, far closer, far all-permeating, far more encompassing, far more transformative, of which the marriage of the man and the woman is the shadow, the echo, the illustration.1 There is such a similarity between this thought (and this passage in St. Paul’s Epistles) and the prayer of Jesus on the night before He died, that He would be in us as the Father in Him and that we would be united in Him as He and the Father are one. In this Heavenly marriage, we belong to Him and He belongs to us. All that He has is ours and all that we have is His. What He is, is ours, and what we are is His. We are seated with Him in the heavenly realms; where we go He goes, and where He goes we go – into death itself and up to the highest throne, for we are hidden in Him – and to the one who overcomes, He will give to sit with Him on His throne as He has overcome and has sat with His Father on His throne. As we are in Him, married to Him, joined soul-in-soul with Him, one with Him, Him in us and we in Him, one spirit with Him, so He said to us, “whoever rejects you rejects Me, and the one who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”
Now, consider how the brides of such a wonderful King – exalted above the angels, to whom all the hills and all the cattle belong – should think and speak and act. Those of you who have spouses, which of you would enjoy it if your spouse talked – either to you or to others – about how much it cost them to be with you, or to be married to you, or to love you? How much less can it cost us to be married to this King! By this marriage, we are the queens of Heaven and earth. The very things we surrender to Him are by that surrender made ours more fully and beautifully than they ever could be otherwise. Countless riches are ours. The very King of all those riches, who makes them all with His bare hands, belongs to us and gives Himself to us. He who is God and Man gives Himself entirely to us, His Deity and His Humanity, His Body and His Blood. The King of Love gives Himself to us, and in Himself all that is – the very whole world – including our own selves. Think how insulting it is, to speak of cost and loss in the face of such a gift! It is to scorn the gift of His own body and soul – the body and soul of the King and God of the Universe! How is that, for a creature to treat the God who chooses her and unites her to Himself, giving Himself and all that He is or has to her?
It should be clear how little cost there is, for except we give ourselves entirely to Him, we cannot receive His fullness – but if we give ourselves entirely to Him, we will be filled with all the fullness of God, in which our own selves are contained. Though many may “know not what they do,” to speak of the cost of receiving the God of Everything is, in a sense, to trample underfoot His Blood and disregard His Sacrifice.
As the queens of Heaven and earth, whose God shed His own Blood to make us His own and give us Himself and all that is His, it should be clear to us that He can never ask of us anything that is not good for us, and that there can be no cost. To die on this earth – however young, in whatever manner – is not to lose our life, but to be translated to the next world, more fully alive than before. It is, in very fact, to gain life. Whenever we are asked by this King and Spouse to give something away or lose it, it is like giving away a fork of clay to receive one of gold, or taking off a dirty, ragged garment to receive a gown of embroidered silk – and who would even think of cost? Who would even call it giving something away or losing it? It is gain to be rid of the dirty, ragged garment, and the gown of embroidered silk will not do you nearly so much good unless first you take of the dirty, ragged garment. Have we not seen so much of His goodness to know that all that He asks of us is like this? He calls us to intimacy with Himself. He calls us often to be rid of things so that we may be with Him, nothing between us, nothing hindering our Communion, but that with nothing – not even a garment – between, we may recline against His breast, and He may be our Refuge, our Warmth, our Covering. Nor should we ever do anything or give anything for desires not our own, for we live by His same Spirit and all His desires are our desires.
To act or speak as if to be joined to this King and to receive His gifts and intimacy is a cost, is to act or speak as if He does not exist. How can the brides of the King and God speak or think as if there were a cost to them in this marriage which bestows upon them that awesome King and Spouse, and with Him all His rights and possessions, making them the inheritors of immortality and the queens of the universe with Him? Such a statement would deny our relationship to Him, would slander His beauty and glory as valueless things.
Jesus has shared His own Heart with us. We are His prize and His is ours.
Copyright 2019 Raina Nightingale