On my study leave this week I am working on an exegetical study of Revelation 19:7-8:
"Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure" - for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. (ESV)
The focus of my studies revolves around the significance of the Bride, that is Christ's church, making herself ready for "the marriage of the Lamb." From a pastoral perspective I am asking, "How does the church prepare for its wedding day?" And, as John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) points out so well, to be betrothed to Christ carries not only spiritual implications, but physical implications as well. Here is what he says in his homily on 1 Cor. 6:15:
For supposing you had a daughter, and in extreme madness had let her out to a procurer for hire, and made her live a harlot’s life, and then a king’s son were to pass by, and free her from that slavery, and join her in marriage to himself; you could have no power thenceforth to bring her into the brothel. For you gave her up once for all, and sold her. Such as this is our case also. We let out our own flesh for hire unto the Devil, that grievous procurer: Christ saw and set it free, and withdrew it from that evil tyranny; it is not then ours any more but His who delivered it. If you be willing to use it as a King’s bride, there is none to hinder; but if you bring it where it was before, you will suffer just what they ought who are guilty of such outrages. Wherefore you should rather adorn instead of disgracing it.
Chrysostom's point: Not even our bodies are our own since we are now wed to Christ. Indeed, this is what Paul teaches in 1 Cor. 6:15, "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?"
In a world in which promoscuity and sexual exploits are the norm, may we remember our true Bridegroom, and with the help of God's grace may we physically prepare for the glorious wedding day that awaits.