‘He who has the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom who stands and hears him rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Then my joy is fulfilled.’ (Mordern King James Version)
‘ A kinek jegyese van, võlegény az; a võlegény barátja pedig, a ki ott áll és hallja õt, örvendezve örül a võlegény szavának. Ez az én örömem immár betelt.’ (Hungarian Karoli Bible)
‘ Aquele que tem a noiva é o noivo; mas o amigo do noivo, que está presente e o ouve, regozija-se muito com a voz do noivo. Assim, pois, este meu gozo está completo.’ (Portuguese Joao Ferreira de Almeida Atualizada)
He that has the bride ... This is an illustration from marriage. The bride belongs to her husband. The church is the bride of Christ, and belongs to Him. It is therefore to be expected, and desired that the people should flock to Him.
In marriage husband and wife combine to form one perfect human being; the one is the complement of the other. So Christ makes the church a necessary adjunct to Himself. He is the Archetype from whom, as the pattern, the church is formed. He is her Head, as the husband is of the wife. Death severs bridegroom and bride, but cannot separate Christ and His bride. (Barnes)
The message is clear, just as man and women becomes one perfect body, when joined in the holy institution of marriage, the Church (bride) and Christ is one in holiness. Who is the Church? The Church is ‘The Collective body of Christians, or of those who profess to believe in Christ, and acknowledge Him to be the Saviour of mankind.’
What brought husband and wife together initially? LOVE! The same applies for the Church and Jesus. He died on the cross for each one of us, so that we can live forever (John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life). God showed us the greatest love of all time. He loved His bride so much, that He gave His only Son!
Now, the next question is what do we have to do to keep our marriage alive and nourished? We do this through continuous fellowship or communion with one another. Vine says it best: ‘Communion denotes the share which one has in anything, participation, fellowship recognized and enjoyed; thus it used for the common experiences and interests of Christian men, in participation in the knowledge of the Son of God,’ In other words, we need to gather as Christians in the Name of our Lord Jesus, we need to go to church!
The reality is, fewer and fewer people attend church. It has become ‘socially’ acceptable to be absent from the most important gathering of the week. Time is spent on everything worldly, but nothing Godly. People expect to receive, but they don’t wish to give.
The God I serve is a Living God. He is alive in the risen Jesus Christ. I know this through attending Sunday service, bible studies, reading my bible & singing praise and worship. I hear testimonies of God’s great work through His children, and I SEE His great work through His children. I get to meet with my brothers and sisters in Christ. When I’m down, the church is there to pick me up. When I cry, they wipe my tears. When I laugh, they laugh with me. When I rejoice, they rejoice with me. Where else can I experience this ... but at church, through our mutual relationship with Jesus Christ?
It is time that we, as His people flock back to Him. We don’t belong to anybody else but to Him!