I just got back from Starbucks where I stumbled upon Isaiah chapters 60-62 where the prophet speaks of “The New Zion” and her new name. The reason this caught my eye is because I’ve been learning about the Bride of Christ–the Church–here recently. Most of my knowledge on this topic is derived from Frank Viola’s “From Eternity to Here” where he goes into depth about God’s eternal purpose – the Bride of Christ. (For a more in depth look at this I suggest you buy the book or read Frank’s blog). In Revalation 21 John is shown by an angel Jerusalem coming down out of heaven “prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” (Rev 21:2 NIV). The angel also tells him,
The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (21:23-27)
These passages parrelled perfectly with what Isaiah had prophesied. Like in these passages,
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Isaiah 60:1-3 (NIV)
The sun will no more be your light by day,
nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
Your sun will never set again,
and your moon will wane no more;
the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your days of sorrow will end
Isaiah 60:19-20 (NIV)
No longer will they call you Deserted,
or name your land Desolate.
But you will be called Hephzibah,(Meaning, Bride)
and your land Beulah(Meaning Married);
for the LORD will take delight in you,
and your land will be married.
As a young man marries a maiden,
so will your sons marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.
Isaiah 62:4-5 (NIV)
All I could say once I conected these Scriptures was “WOW!”
The Lord has prepared a Bride. Her name is the Church. Paul discovered this ancient mystery and it wrecked him! He was never the same. I too am discovering this mystery, relearning who the Bride really is and watching her function as she’s suppose to. Without constraint of programs and “its”. Watching her be born in an organic way, without the use of human hands or agendas. She truly is beautiful and I’ve only seen a tiny glimpse of her. I have yet to discover her other features, but I hope to in the coming years.
I write this to encourage all believers to take a dive into what it means to be part of the Bride of Christ. It isn’t preached much and if it is it’s more of an ideal or theology, not an actuality. I write this knowing that I know only very little of her. I am in the process of discovering who she really is. All her beautiful features from head to toe. Jesus didn’t die on the cross only to redeem of us of OUR sins. It was much more deep and eternal than that. Nothing less to be expected from a Holy God. An infinite Son, the Holy One of Israel. Be aware, Jesus loves his Bride and wants to marry her. We are the new Jerusalem! What a glorious thing to be a part of! Amen.
For more info on this topic read “From Eternity to Here” by Frank Viola. I’m sure this isn’t the only literature on the topic but it’s what I’ve been reading recently.