The Celebration of Jesus!

As a pastor, I get to perform my fair share of weddings. I’ve done them for years. In fact, I’ve officiated weddings for couples whose parents I also married. One of my favorite experiences when I perform a wedding is to go into the bridal room and pray with the bride and her bridesmaids before the ceremony.

You know what the bride is doing in that room? She is making herself ready … and no detail is left untouched. She usually has others there to help her get ready for the wedding ceremony. By the time I get there, she and her friends look radiant.

After the wedding, I usually go to the reception. This is the party where people gather together to congratulate the newlyweds and celebrate their union. I’m sure you’ve gone to a number of them as well. They typically have plenty of good food, a delicious cake, and some festive music. Weddings are wonderful. I look forward to participating in every one of them.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are all going to attend a very special wedding one day. When the marriage of the Lamb comes, Christ’s bride is going to be ready. Jesus will see to it. We, the church, will be wearing wedding garments that are called the righteous acts of the saints (Rev. 19:8).

The marriage supper of Jesus Christ (Rev. 19:6-7) will be a real celebration too. This is because Jesus wasn’t born simply to take away the sins of the world—although that surely is more than enough to celebrate by itself! But Jesus was also born to reign as Messiah and King forever. Isaiah told us that the Messiah’s kingdom is one that will never end. (Isa. 9:7) It is both here and there, near and far. It’s a kingdom without borders, and a kingdom without time.

Gabriel made Mary aware of the unique role Jesus would play in history … and for all eternity. Jesus reigns now in history. And He will also reign in the ultimate glory of eternity.

As Messiah and King over all, Jesus has already established the rules of His reign. He has set the tone through His life. In His kingdom, neither race nor gender nor wealth nor social status determines our place in Him (Gal. 3:28). Christ gives strength to the weak who recognize their weakness and look to Him for strength. Forgiveness trumps bitterness, and the amount of money you have (or don’t have) doesn’t matter; what matters is the heart. Significance in Jesus’ kingdom is tied to service (John 13:12-17).

The baby born of the virgin, laid to sleep in the soft hay of a manger came not only to live and to die, but to reign in power and glory. Through Jesus, the God of heaven has set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed nor left to another people (Dan. 2:44). His kingdom and reign will last forever.