Marriage is an illustration of God’s relationship with his people. Throughout the Old Testament God used the picture of Israel being His wife especially when calling them to be faithful to Him. In the New Testament, wives are told to submit to their husbands who are their head like Christ is the head of the church, and husbands are told to sacrificially love their wives like Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. (Ephesians 5) This relationship is a God-ordained, sacred picture, giving a glimpse of the love and submission God has set up between Himself and His own.
What piques my amazement is some of the symbolism that can be seen in some of the modern wedding traditions.
Tradition has the bride wearing white. White stands for purity, and not just for the bride. Think of that multitude in Revelation 7 who had washed their robes in the blood of the lamb and stood before Him, clothed in white.
Another tradition is for the wife to take her husband’s name. She is now ‘Mrs. Joe Smith’, fully identified with him.
Is that not the case with Christians? The very word means ‘little Christs’. We have been fully identified with Jesus Christ. He has taken our sin on Himself, and when we trust Him, we are given His righteousness. (2 Corinthians 5:21) When God the Father looks at us, He does not see corrupted wrongdoers, but His pure Son. Because of our relationship and identification with Jesus Christ, we are rulers, priests, and heirs of God. (1 Peter 2:9, Romans 8:17)
How sweet the words of Jeremiah: “I am called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” (Jeremiah 15:16)