The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete   (John 3:29, NIV).

In Bible times, the bridegroom was always the central figure in the wedding ceremony. This fact is illustrated in the parable of the ten virgins.

In the Old Testament, the bridegroom is a popular symbol of happiness and majesty. In this setting, Jehovah is often depicted as the husband, or bridegroom, of Israel. This figure of speech is descriptive of God’s covenant relationship with His people (see Isaiah 54:8; Jeremiah 31:32). Christ’s application of this title to Himself clearly identifies Him as the long-expected Messiah. Here He is portrayed as the solicitous bridegroom who loves His bride, the church, with an everlasting love. The metaphor of the marriage bond is found fourteen times in the New Testament. In three of the four gospels reference is made to Christ as the bridegroom. The exquisite relationship between Christ, the bridegroom, and His precious bride, the church, is beautifully described in Ephesians 5:27.

As the bridegroom, Christ loves, protects, and defends His bride. Not only has He given His life to save her, but He constantly nurtures and cherishes her. His supreme objective is “to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:27, NIV). This profound and intimate love relationship gives strength, hope, and assurance as the church awaits the arrival of the bridegroom for the celebration of the marriage supper of the Lamb. What joy it will be someday soon to see the bridegroom face to face! “To Christ, as the bridegroom, belongs the first place in the affections of His people.”–Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 224. May we be found waiting and watching for the return of the bridegroom.

My Prayer Today: Lord, the love of the bridegroom has captured me. Keep me ready for the marriage supper. Amen!