The story of humanity as we know it started with a wedding and it ends with a wedding.
When God created Eve, He ‘brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’, for she was taken out of man.” For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh’ (Genesis 2:22-24).
When Jesus was questioned about the validity of divorce, He referred to the covenant of marriage and concluded with a direct quote from the Genesis text; He said,”Haven’t you read, … that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.”To this day many traditional wedding ceremonies include a solemn warning by the minister that man should not seek to separate what God has joined together.
Revelation 19:7-9 points us to the wedding that is to take place at the very end of time;
Some background on weddings in Jesus’ day
When a boy reached puberty his parents would set about finding him a suitable wife. The villages were mostly very small and often the parents would have to select a bride from some other town in the vicinity. When they found a suitable candidate they would enter into negotiations with her parents and agree on a dowry, and if the groom to be was old enough he would accompany them to meet his future wife. The girl would often still be very young and so years would sometimes pass before she reached maturity, yet all the while she and her intended spouse would be regarded as betrothed (engaged). The girl would learn the arts of home keeping from her mother and extended family, and the young man would busy himself with building an extension to his father’s house which would become the home for him and his wife. When the time of the wedding approached, the groom’s parents would prepare a wedding feast. They would send out invitations to both family’s relatives and close friends and sometimes, if they were well off, they would prepare wedding garments to be given to each guest. When the time of the wedding approached, the bride’s household would be in an ecstasy of excitement with the young woman’s friends getting her ready for the big occasion. Everyone knew when the wedding preparations had been completed because the groom’s father regularly sent messengers to the bride’s town to keep them up to date with what was happening. However, nobody but the groom’s father knew the exact day and time that the wedding feast would start. At the time of his choosing, he would instruct his son to go and fetch his bride and the young man would set off with his friends and relatives, dancing and singing mightily. News would reach the bride’s town that her husband was on his way, her friends and family would gather around her, and together they would go out of the town gates to meet the wedding procession. The two parties would come together with great celebration and together they would walk to the groom’s father’s house for the wedding feast. Then the party would begin! Sometimes it would be for just a couple of days, but if the groom’s family were relatively wealthy it could last for up to a week. The groom and his bride would ratify the contract previously made between their respective families, they would pledge allegiance to each other in the sight of God, and they would go off to the bridal chamber to consummate the marriage… and all the while the festivities would continue.
God the Father selected a bride for his son from humanity, betrothed them, and then waited for her to mature. Two thousand years have passed and now, at last the bride, the church, has reached maturity and is ready for the consummation of the ages. She has not reached maturity because of her holiness and perfection here on earth, but because she is complete in number. You see, every time a disciple of Jesus, a member of his church, dies then that person is perfected, made holy and joins the ever growing Bride of Christ … in heaven.