Monday, January 23, 2006

The Glorious Bridegroom

Let's now look at the Bridegroom coming in glorious splendor for his bride.

Song of Solomon 3:6-11
What is this coming up from the wilderness
Like columns of smoke,
Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
With all scented powders of the merchant?

Behold, it is the traveling couch of Solomon;
Sixty mighty men around it,
Of the mighty men of Israel.
All of them are wielders of the sword,
Expert in war;
Each man has his sword at his side,
Guarding against the terrors of the night.

King Solomon has made for himself a sedan chair
From the timber of Lebanon.
He made its posts of silver,
Its back of gold
And its seat of purple fabric,
With its interior lovingly fitted out
By the daughters of Jerusalem.

Go forth, O daughters of Zion,
And gaze on King Solomon with the crown
With which his mother has crowned him
On the day of his wedding,
And on the day of his gladness of heart.
In this passage, the king's wedding day is at hand and he's coming to claim his bride. He's visible from a distance because of the dust that his procession is stirring up. As he gets closer, details start coming into view. The king is on a throne surrounded by a mighty guard. It's made of timber from Lebanon which was known for its strength and beauty. It contains silver representing righteousness and gold representing divine character. He is full of joy, wearing a crown that his mother has given him.

I think this contains a two-fold picture of Jesus.

There is yet to come a day when Jesus returns in a glorious appearing. I think this passage is a foreshadowing of his future return. Revelation tells us of many things that will happen prior to his return. There will be signs in society, government and the physical world. Dust will be stirred up to let us know something momentous is about to occur. When He does return, it will be to rule and reign as king on the earth. He will come commanding a mighty army to wage war against His enemies. He will judge in righteousness with strength and according to the Father's perspective. His people will be made fully mature and will co-rule by His side; they will be His wedding crown (Isaiah 62:3). There will be joyous singing and feasting when this day is finally fulfilled.

In addition to this future day, I think this passage also points to His first coming. Angels proclaimed his coming birth to both Mary and Joseph. Angels proclaimed His birth to those nearby while stars moved to proclaimed his birth to those far away. As an infant, Simeon and Anna recognized Him and told others that God was among them. Thirty years later, John went before Him, announcing His imminent ministry. There was lots of dust before His arrival. The gifts of myrrh and frankincense, given at His birth, are burial spices, speaking of his death. When He finally went to Calvary he was escorted by Roman soldiers carrying swords. He carried his own instrument upon which He was lifted up for all to see. He was crowned with thorns by the nation that gave him birth. And finally, he was anointed with gladness over all his brothers as he looked past the cross to the joy that its endurance would bring. It is because of the cross that the four living creatures and 24 elders could sing the new song 'Worthy are you to break the seals', precipitating his next return in unrestrained glory.