Discovering Jesus, the Bridegroom God
As a male Christian raised in the rugged individualism of American culture, I have found it relatively easy to view God as super-powerful, all-wise and all-knowing. I can visualize Jesus as the Son of God, the living Word, the manly Man Who strides over the earth with purpose and dedication, strong yet compassionate, determined to fulfill the Father’s purposes. I’ve even been able to fathom the theological concept of Jesus the heavenly Bridegroom, Whose passion is for the redemption of a people called the Bride of Christ.
Like most men, though, experientially I have found myself struggling to see Jesus as a Bridegroom gazing over me with the kind of passion I was hearing others speak about. To echo the words of so many men in response to this message of the ravished heart of God, I just couldn’t picture myself in that white dress!
Then I began to give myself to the study of this theme in the Scriptures and began to see how, in Jesus’ personal encounters with human beings like me, male and female, He was the experiential fulfillment of those prophetic pictures given in the Old Testament. Once I began to worship the Lord in the context of that understanding, I began to experience the touch of intimacy on my own heart. I began to know what it is to be loved personally, deeply and romantically by the Lover of my soul. I began to comprehend C.S. Lewis’ comment: “God is the Masculine before which all of us are feminine.” I began to know the inexpressible joy of being romanced, of being cherished, of having the Lord touch me in a personal way purely out of affection.
I had known His touch of healing, conviction and forgiveness, of empowering for ministry, of compassion for others, but I had never known the tender touch of His Spirit upon my heart—a touch released simply because of love for me, personally and intimately. I tell you, it is a life-changing experience to know that touch!
Out of the growth in my own life, I want to continue to unfold this biblical perception so that we all, as contemporary Western believers, can more readily embrace the idea that Jesus would love us like that, personally and existentially. It is my conviction that there is no better place in which to consider this theme than The Song Of Solomon, the book in Scripture that begins with the bold statement that it is “The Song of all Songs.” This is an astonishing claim, for it demands that we consider it in comparison with every song ever composed in heaven or on earth, and come to the agreeable conclusion that this Song is the culminating expression of the art of music-making in the entire history of the universe. The Song of all Songs! This declaration alone confronts us with the truth that what is burning in the heart of God is a romantic reality, that the basis of all music in the universe is romantic love, and that out of that reality, God communicates to us His passion.
Over the next few weeks, we will consider the beauty of the love of Jesus for His Bride as it is revealed through the Song of Solomon. My prayer is that you will begin to explore this hidden treasure, and in it to discover the love of Jesus for you in an entirely new dimension.