The Bridegroom Came!
The Lord's people are looking forward and anticipating a most solemn and glorious event — even the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, in majesty and great glory.
The present period and the state of the Church, is represented by our Lord by an eastern wedding. The bride had been betrothed, the period had arrived for the husband to fetch her home. The virgins who were to be his attendants, took their lamps and went forth to meet him; but as He delayed — they fell asleep, at midnight the cry was heard, "The bridegroom comes!" Those who were ready met him with joy — the rest went to procure oil. While they were gone, "the Bridegroom came," and they were excluded from the ceremony and the feast. I want to fix the attention principally on one point, "The Bridegroom came!" Matthew 25:10.
THE GLORIOUS PERSON APPEARING. This is the Lord Jesus Christ, on whom the eyes of his people are fixed, and in whom all their affections center. We are not so much taken up with doctrines or even facts about him — as with a person, the person of Christ. He is the beloved One. He is loved by all his people, and preferred by them to all others. Their salvation, their happiness, their all is in him. He is at present absent from them, and while he is absent — they cannot be perfectly satisfied, or fully happy.
He is the Bridegroom, who ransomed his bride with his own blood, who has espoused us for himself, provided our marriage robes, prepared our mansion, won our love, and desires our presence. As much as He has in Heaven, as much as he delights in his Father's love — nothing will fully satisfy him, but having us with him! The language of his heart still is, "Father, I want those whom you have given me to be with me where I am — that they may behold my glory!"
THE FACT ANNOUNCED. "The Bridegroom came!" He came once in deep humiliation — to pay the ransom price of his beloved bride. Having done so, he sent his servants with the glad tidings, to espouse her unto himself. He went back to his Father — to use his influence on her behalf, and secure her safety and honor. He promised to come again — and receive her unto himself.
His believing people had been expecting him to come — but for wise and holy reasons, his advent had been delayed. But he is ever true to his word, and though the virgins became drowsy and fell asleep, at the time appointed time — he came. Such is the outline of his history, and as the former part of it has been fulfilled — so will the latter also.
Jesus will come again in His glory. He will come to consummate his marriage with His bride. He will then present her to His Father without spot — all glorious both within and without. He will satisfy her with His beauty, presence, and love forever! He will put her in possession of the promised inheritance — the kingdom provided for her from the foundation of the world. Then she will be freed from all sorrow, suffering, care, fear, and sin! Then she will behold His glory — and be glorified with Him forever!
What a stir the sudden coming of the Bridegroom will make among many of our sleepy professors — how it will startle, alarm, and terrify them! Into what confusion it will throw many of our money-loving, money-making church members — frustrating their schemes, and disappointing their expectations! How it will surprise many proud pretenders, who now pass for believers — and will only be discovered at the appearing of our Lord and Savior!
Let us then seriously put the question to the conscience, Am I espoused to Jesus? Do my desires, thoughts, and affections, center in him? Am I prepared for his coming? Is it to me the most desirable, as well as the most glorious event? Am I watching for it — as those that watch for the morning? Am I waiting for it — as the bride waits for the wedding day? Am I ready to go forth and meet the Bridegroom whenever the cry shall be heard, "Behold the bridegroom comes?"
If so, the hope will soon be realized. Jesus is now on his way. There are intimations of his near approach. We ought therefore to be on the tip-toe of expectation. The fact will soon be registered, "The Bridegroom came!" But if when he comes, our lamps should have gone out. If when we arise to trim them — we find that we have no oil in our vessels! If we should have to procure oil — when we ought to have to use! If while we attempt to obtain — he should enter into the bride chamber and the door be shut! How dreadful to be shut out from Jesus — to be shut out at midnight — to be shut out in the dark — to be shut out with hypocrites and unbelievers! This will be the doom of many, will it be ours? What if it should!
But may it be prevented? It may. Let us not only have the virgin garb, the lamp, and the light — but let us see to it that we have oil in our vessels with our lamps! Let us make sure that we have the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Let us not be satisfied to conclude from some past experience, that we had the Holy Spirit once — but let us daily seek the supplies of the Spirit of Christ. Let us make our calling and our election sure. Let us live in constant fellowship with Jesus, looking for the blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior!
Satan will try all means in his power to divert us from this — but let us so watch and pray, that he may never prevail. Holy Spirit, prepare us, and keep us waiting, looking, and longing for the coming of Jesus!