The big day has finally arrived. The wedding is scheduled to take place at 6:30pm. In order to get ready, the bride arrives at the church at 5:00am. She is accompanied by all of her bridesmaids, who have but one job for the day—make her look beautiful!

However, the task is too much for them, so they call in some extra help. A hairdresser is brought in. She will spend several hours making sure that every hair is perfectly in place and will stay that way for the duration of the ceremony. Another professional comes in to apply the makeup. It will take some time, but she will create a masterpiece with blush and mascara. Someone else comes in to do the bride’s nails. With all this preparation, the collective breath of the guests will be taken away when the beautiful bride finally makes her dramatic appearance.

That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but most brides do spend quite a bit of time making themselves look their very best on their wedding day. And who could blame them? Those wedding pictures will be viewed for decades to come!

Revelation 21:2 gives us a picture of the church, the bride of Christ—“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”

There are several observations we can make about the church as it is portrayed here in Scripture.

First, the church comes from God, not from humans. The church is not a man-made institution that creates its own definition and designs its own purposes. The church was created by God, and it cost him a big price to do so. Acts 20:28 says, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” God became a man and died on the cross to pay the price of our sins so that we could become his children and be a part of his church. Let us never forget the price God had to pay for our salvation! This is part of the reason the bride of Christ is so beautiful.

Second, we should note that the church has been prepared by God. It is not of our own efforts that we are saved. It is by the grace and mercy shown by God through Jesus Christ that we have been saved from our sins.

Third, let us not forget the beauty of the church. Oh, we Christians definitely have our faults. We are by no means perfect. But God sees us as though we have never sinned because Jesus has taken our sins away! Those who criticize the church are in danger of saying that the wife of Jesus is ugly!

Fourth, notice that the church is dressed for her husband. When you enter into eternity, you definitely do not want to be found lacking the proper wedding clothing! (Matt.22:11-14). Thankfully, the necessary clothing has been provided by Jesus. Gal.3:26-27 says, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”

Finally, let us never forget that the church is the bride of Christ. We have a special connection with Jesus, one that will endure for all of eternity!

That is a beautiful picture indeed!

For more inspirational writings by Tom Cox, go to www.jesustrek.wordpress.com