The Day of the Gladness of Christ’s Heart
“…on the day of his wedding, on the day of the gladness of his heart.”
– Song of Solomon 3:11
Weddings as Parables
The wedding day is to be the “day of the gladness” of the groom’s heart. It is the day that, by God’s design, his heart should rejoice in his wife….the long anticipated and desired union is taking place and great joy opens before the couple like a valley stretching to the sea. This verse establishes the spiritual law that, in the best case and in accordance with God’s purposes, the wedding day should be the day of the gladness of the man’s heart.
So why make a blog post about glad-hearted grooms? Because, in God’s wisdom, human grooms are incarnate parables of the True Groom, Jesus Christ, and human weddings are miniature prefigurings of the True Wedding of Christ and His Bride, the Church. Therefore, when God tells us that – in the best case scenario – the wedding is to be the “day of the gladness” of the groom’s heart, He is ultimately telling us something about the heart of Christ and our future as His people.
The True Wedding Day
There is a Wedding Day in our future; the day when Christ will “marry” His blood-bought Bride, His elect and dearly loved people. The universe exists, it might be argued, to “get a Bride” for God the Son….all of reality was created for, and will be the context of, the glad union between God and His people, and the future consummation of this union is and will be the gladness of Christ’s heart. In Revelation 19:7 we read of the marriage supper of the Lamb. This is a real event and it really is before us….we, the people of God, are headed toward the realization of the reality of which human marriage is only a passing shadow. The Church will stand in resplendence before the One whose blood has made her clean, and the heart of Her Lord and God will burst with gladness at the sight of His sovreignly preserved people.
Consider it, if a finite human groom has gladness of heart on his wedding day, how much more will perfect and undiluted joy fill and overflow the heart of God the Son!? How GLAD, how HAPPY, how JOYFUL will be our Savior and King and Lord and God on that day! What groom has ever received his bride to himself with a furrowed brow and crossed arms? What groom has ever met her eyes with disappointment and anger as she walked the aisle toward him? No, there is joy and acceptance and love in his eyes for his wife to be……God has given us the gift of a human groom’s love for his bride as a parable to show us what it will be like when we come before Christ Himself.
Side Note: Actually, there is a wonderful scene in the movie How To Train Your Dragon 2 where Stoick (a Viking) sees his wife for the first time in 20 years. He thought she was dead. Although this is not a perfect analogy, I think the dynamic of Valka’s (the wife) fear that she is “in trouble” combined with Stoick’s reaction is a good picture of how Christ receives His blood-washed people to Himself. If you are interested, you can see the clip here.
God the Son gave himself up for His Bride in order to wash her and present her blameless before Himself in splendor and great joy. What, in all of reality, can prepare us for that day? For the day when, as the gathered people of God from all nations and tribes and languages and times, we are brought as one Church before our Savior and Lord? What could possibly prepare our souls to be the object of God’s gladness? That will be, as C.S. Lewis said, the weight of glory…..to bear up under the smile of God….to be, because of His sovereign and gracious work, to be the gladness of His heart. Stunning.
That day is coming…..glory to God, that day is coming. The day when the love streaming from our Lord’s eyes will forever drowned our fears….when the gladness ringing from His heart will cause all our sorrows to resonate with joy….when the acceptance of God will silence our shame…when excuses and apologies will die on our lips as our Creator sings over us in unhindered pleasure…We will be made lovely by His love, beautiful by His beauty, glorious by His glory…….
May He give us the grace to endure in faith and hope and love for these next few heart beats until we see Him face to face.