It's just an opinion, but to be his bride may be the most tender of his claims over my life. All of creation belongs to him, the earth and the fullness thereof. To be his cherished treasure in all of that astounds me. Even more, to know the price he paid for me raises my sense of worth. But, to apply the multiple wedding and marriages images from his teaching and the broad stretch of biblical history thrills my soul. We are his precious bride. He loves us.
The mystery of the marriage supper in Revelation 19 is puzzling to some degree, and yet leaves me breathless at the prospect. We can debate for hours the unfolding of his eternal plan, his final program for claiming his church as his pure, holy bride. But, if we lay our time tables and charts aside for a spell and just marvel at what he has planned, it should touch something deep within us. To be his in this way, his very bride, reminds me of the intimacy of this relationship, and the ethical and moral dimensions of a marriage covenant. As often as I have read Ephesians 5:25ff in wedding ceremonies, I am constantly spellbound that those verses are really about our covenant with him. Those lines are the banner over our us---He loved the church and gave himself for her (Ephesians 5: 25). Incredible!
Being his in this way is a thread throughout his word. It is a reminder of the faith and trust and responsibility so visible in the covenant of marriage. When God's people were faithful to that covenant, they were a pure, holy bride. When they were distant from the covenant, they were portrayed as harlots who had broken their fidelity to him. Their sinful disregard of the covenant labeled them as adulterers. It an ugly picture. Read the Book of Hosea for more detail.
My point? To belong to him as bride should be visible in us individually and corporately. Of course, a culture that doesn't acknowledge the sanctity of marriage and the unique way biblical marriage foreshadows this eternal relationship will relax the codes that define it. So, it's OK to run around a little these days, at least by the prevailing standards of pop culture. As a result, being pure and holy in our steadfastness to him isn't such a big deal. I mean, we're not legalists, bound to a burdensome list of religious taboos. The flip side is that we're not libertines either, possessing the spiritual liberty to do anything we choose.
It's just on the edges of the current societal breakdown, but one teacher recently told the congregation there's no word in the Hebrew language translating "command" or "commandment". Well, I only took four semesters of Hebrew and if I remember correctly the word "mitzvah" and plural "mitzvot" are the orders, or commands of God (see Strongs #4687 for a few more details). The old rabbis sought to number them in the Tanakh and discovered 613 of them. My mention of them here is simply to conclude that the covenant he initiated with us, that will culminate in the heavenly wedding supper, has moral and ethical expression. To be his bride presupposes faithfulness and fidelity and trust and union and responsibility and accountability.
It's the ownership thing again, that is, to be his. When we are truly his, we a true to him. And, we would be his precious, holy bride.
Hurry Lord Jesus!