Alleluia!” or “praise Jehovah!” is the cry which opens this scene, because “the Lord God omnipotent” reigns, and kingdoms of this earth have become His, and that of His Christ (Rev 11:15, KJV). It is followed by a command to be exceedingly joyful: “let us be glad and rejoice” (v7, KJV). As we consider the “last Bride,” we want to observe the reason for such great rejoicing: the readiness of the bride, and her righteousness.
The reason for the great rejoicing is twofold. First, the tribulation will be concluding and Christ commencing His 1000 year reign. Second, the Bride of Christ will be formally presented at the marriage supper of the Lamb, having been redeemed during the church age and raptured prior to the tribulation. While this rejoicing will climax at the marriage feast, there is a joy that every member of the Bride has known since conversion. The Philippian jailer and his household “rejoiced” for believing God (Acts 16:34). The word “glad” in this passage is used to describe the shepherd who finds the lost sheep, Zacchaeus (Luke 15:5), as he received Christ (Luke 19:6), the knowledge of one’s name written in heaven (Luke 10:20), and the father’s joy upon the prodigal son’s return (Luke 15:32). Have you experienced the joy of salvation?
With that great chorus reverberating in our ears, the Bride’s readiness now captures our attention, for she is described as having made herself ready. Commentators note that, contextually, this refers to the Bride who at this juncture will already have appeared before the judgment seat of Christ, subsequent to the Rapture (Rom 14:10; 2 Cor 5:10). Without detracting from the interpretation, we may enjoy the thought that individual members of the Bride have been ready for this moment since salvation, when they became members of the Bride, and have possessed the certainty that one day they would be at His side during this future monumental moment. Are you ready?
Next, we notice her righteousness, stated as “the righteousness of saints.” This likely doesn’t refer to imputed righteousness. However, one can’t help but think of imputed righteousness: “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Phil 3:9, KJV). Imputed righteousness is that righteousness which God attributes to the sinner who trusts Christ. It is not inherent righteousness, for “there is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom 3:10), nor is it meritoriously earned righteousness, for there is “none that doeth good, no, not one” (Rom 3:12, KJV). Imputed righteousness is a result of Christ being made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2Cor 5:21, KJV). Have you trusted Christ and been declared righteous by God?
While the focus of this article has been the Bride, it must be emphasized she owes all to the Bridegroom’s great love (Eph 5:25-29) and His sacrificial death on her behalf. She has been greatly blessed, but likewise, “blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” This is the fourth of seven occasions in which the word “blessed” is used in Revelation. The bridegroom, Jesus Christ, will be there, the Bride, and the guests will all be in attendance. Will you be there?