*Delivered at Jacob and Katie Sullivan’s wedding on July 15th, 2017 at the Graham Memorial Chapel on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis*
“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet,
until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
and her salvation as a burning torch.
The nations shall see your righteousness,
and all the kings your glory,
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will give.
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land Married;
for the Lord delights in you,
and your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.”
Exposition of the Text: Isaiah 62:1-5
This text, like this ceremony, is not just pointing to an end within itself. This text, like this ceremony, points to a far greater reality. This ceremony we’re witness to today is not simply about Jacob and Katie’s love for each other. It’s a picture of a love that is far more primary and profound. It’s a picture of Christ’s love for His Bride, the Church.
Today, Katie will take on a new name. In the same way, we take on a new name when we enter into relationship with Christ. Today, Katie will cease to be alone and will enter into intimate community with Jacob for as long as she lives. In the same way, because of what Jesus has done for us in taking on our sin and punishment on the cross, so we never have to be alone when we trust in His promises and become part of the Bride of Christ. Because Jacob pursued Katie and declared his love for her, Katie walked down the aisle pure and spotless in her gorgeous dress. In the same way, because Jesus pursued His Bride and declared His love for her, so she can walk down the aisle to him, pure and righteous. Jacob loves Katie so much that there is nothing that could ever keep him from declaring his love and affection for Katie and making her his bride. Likewise, there is no obstacle, not even sin, Satan, death, and all of the powers of Hell, that could keep Jesus from declaring His love and affection for His Church and there is nothing that could stop Him from making the Church His Bride.
I wish you all could have had the view that we had up here just now. Not only did we get to see Katie, in her splendor, walk down the aisle, we also got to see Jacob’s utter joy and delight in seeing her. He can hardly contain it. That same joy and delight, only to an even greater degree, is exactly how Jesus feels about those who trust in Him and make up His Bride. This is a joyous celebration of Jacob and Katie’s love, but they don’t want this ceremony to simply be about them. They want all of us to know the incredible reality that this ceremony, and ultimately their marriage, is pointing to: Jesus’ overflowing love and sacrifice to make a way for us to forever be in a loving relationship with Him.