The Beautiful Bride
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27
Translators struggle to describe the kind of wife that Hosea is commanded to take. Gomer is described as promiscuous, a prostitute, a harlot, and even a whore. Gomer was a symbol of the spiritual unfaithfulness of Israel towards God. Yet the Lord promised to have mercy on Israel, just like Hosea would redeem his unfaithful wife. The Lord calls on His adulterous bride to return to Him in repentance and faith.
We, like Israel, have been an adulterous bride, breaking the Lords commands though He was always a faithful husband. Yet, the Lord established a new covenant with His bride wherein He forgives our wickedness and does not hold our sins against us. In his commentary on Revelation, the late Louis Brighton wrote, “God chose the seed of Abraham to be his people, his bride, Israel. She proved to be unfaithful and adulterous, but amazingly God promised to betroth himself to her again forever at a price he himself would pay…How poignantly this was carried out in the life and crucifixion and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! For this was the betrothal price that God paid in order to purchase his people as his bride.”
Dear friends, we are the beloved bride of Christ. We were all found to be unfaithful, but Christ, the Bridegroom, has purchased us with His holy precious blood and innocent suffering and death. Together, one and all, we have been cleansed from our sin by the washing of water and the Word. Therefore, we will indeed stand before Christ, the Bridegroom, on the last day as a bride beautifully adorned for her husband. In a world where young people worry about their appearance and identity, where the elderly are told that their lives have no value, we can find comfort in knowing that we are all the bride of Christ, bought at the great price of the Bridegroom’s very own life. May you rejoice and find comfort in knowing how precious you are to Christ!
Prayer – Lord God, heavenly Father, send forth Your Son to lead home His bride, the Church, that with all the company of the redeemed we may finally enter into His eternal wedding feast; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan