Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS
INI + AMEN.
“Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of world.” He is the true Bridegroom. He takes away His bride’s sins, too.
Behold, His holy Church whose sins were taken away by the Lamb of God, her Bridegroom. She is His and His alone. There is no other one for her than Him. He’s her Savior. Her Forgiver. Her Redeemer. She has no sins before Him. No, not even one.
“A Man shall leave His Father and mother and be united to His wife, and the two become one flesh.”
She is His alone. He doesn’t want anyone else but her. He leaves His Father for her, gives up His mom for her, is even abadonded by His Father for her. She’s that important to Him.
So, she’s faithful, united to Him and Him alone because He was faithful for her—in her place. All that she was required to do, all the Commandments of God she broke daily and much, all the demands of the Father, her Bridegroom fulfilled for her all the way to His cross.
He was betrayed, beaten, crucified, killed for her. He takes her sins, her spots, her blemishes and wrinkles. All of it His—not hers. And they all die with Him. His tomb his the only tomb she’ll ever see—empty! His death deaths death. Now death is just a nap. And naps are just great when you know your Beloved will wake you up.
She—she is perfect. Spotless. Holy. Blameless. Wrinkle-free. And He will never, ever, ever see her as anything other than perfect. It’s all form Him—water and blood from His pierced side. He holies her. Washes her. He forgives her. Feeds her.
And with the Lord, this isn’t act. There’s no rehearsed “Yes, dear” or “No, dear” with Him. None of that because His death and resurrection, His blood and water, His baptism, the Supper of His body and blood change her entire universe, her entire forever! When she’ unfaithful, He faithfuls her. She is with out spot, stain, sin because He is without sin for her. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world—her sin, too.
The bride, she submits to her husband. He is her Bridegroom. No one else is. She receives only from Him. That’s faith! He dies for her. She’s saved. He holies her. She is holy. He cleanses her. She is clean. He rises from the dead. She rises from the dead in the water and Word. He lives. She lives forever in Him.
So, she submits to Him being her Savior. That’s just what He is. He will shield her, protect her, forgive her—always. No one will ever hurt her. Not after Calvary. And because of Good Friday and Easter she is forever His. He is always her Bridegroom. No divorces. No separations.
Chris, you’ll fail just like Adam did. You won’t protect your wife from the serpent. When there’s sin, you’ll blame her. Blame God by despising the gift He’s giving you today. The gift that comes from your side.
And Baleigh, you’ll be just like Eve. You’ll take your ears off your husband’s words and listen to the preaching of the serpent. You will be your own woman and take what isn’t given to you and, in so doing, may even drag your husband into sin with you.
You’ll both sin, fail, be unfaithful. That’s why today isn’t really about you two. Today, this marriage, this day, is about the Lamb of God, the Bridegroom, who takes the sin of His Bride. And your marriage is a living picture, is living artwork of Christ’s love for His Church. Today is the day of a Husband who gives His life for His Bride. Today is the day of the Bride who is washed by His death and fed with His blood, and we are all saved.
Chris, the blood of Christ that flowed from His side, that is delivered in His chalice is for you, but it’s also for Baleigh, and for your children. Forgive her with the forgiveness of Christ’s death, resurrection, the forgiveness of His Word and His Gifts. Love her, care for her, nourish her, as Christ loved and gave Himself for His Church.
Baleigh, in Christ you are the glorious, spotless, holy, wrinkle-free Church. You’re without sin—can’t sin in Jesus. Can’t sin in Chris’ eyes either. You can’t be anything but perfect.
Chris and Baleigh, hear the preaching of the Gospel, splash in the Lord’s baptismal forgiveness, feast upon His body and blood in the Sacrament. There the Lamb is yours, and you both are His. Through His Gifts He holies each day, each moment, each second of your lives together until the day when a nap parts you.
Then, on the Last Day, your Beloved will wake you up. You’ll attend the Marriage Feast of the Lamb in His Kingdom which has no end. You’ll see Jesus say of His Bride: “This one is Mine! Beautiful, spotless. Look, Dad! She’s perfect!”
In Jesus’ Word, in His forgiveness and gifts, we all see the Last Day today. It probably won’t be as cold then. But you see today the picture of Christ and His Bride in Chris and Baleigh’s wedding.
“This is a profound mystery,” says Paul, “and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”
Look, the Lamb of God, the Bridegroom, who takes away all the sins of His Bride.
Look, the Bride who is His—His alone. He’s her Savior. Her Forgiver. Her Redeemer. She has no sins before Him. No, not even one. Not ever.
INI + AMEN.