It was Sunday, June 6, 2004. Anya Stevens was going to be marrying the man of her dreams, today. “Joshua Eleazar.” She didn’t even realize she was saying it out loud, but she loved the sound of it. It was music to her ears. In only a few short hours she would bear the name Mrs. Joshua Eleazar. She quietly practiced introducing herself to people as Mrs. Eleazar.
It wasn’t that her own last name wasn’t nice. Actually, she quite liked her maiden name, but it didn’t have much meaning to it. Eleazar, however, meant so much in only one little word. Eleazar–God is my helper. And God really was her helper. She had seen Him work in her life in so many ways, and she was blessed.
Like Anya, we (God’s people) are preparing for a big name change. Yes, a wedding!
“Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory,
because the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and His wife has prepared herself.”
Revelation 19:7 (HCSB)
This bride is very special. This same bride was symbolized by a prostitute (Hosea 1:2), a harlot (Jeremiah 3:1) and an adulterer. This bride is not innocent. In fact, some of her own children were born from her promiscuity.
Essentially, we are that bride. We have committed adultery against God. We have not lived a life wholly dedicated to God, to live in Him, for better or worse, in sickness and in health. But here is something interesting:
“She was given fine linen to wear, bright and pure.
For the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints.”
This bride is given clothes of white. And white represents righteousness, purity, something that does not match me, a horrible sinner! What business do we, the bride, have wearing a white gown? Right now we certainly aren’t.
“But we are all as an unclean thing,
and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;”
So why then will be given these white clothes of righteousness? The answer is very interesting. But before I answer, I want to point out something. Clothing has always been a form of identification. You recognize different people by their clothing. You know when you see a police because he is wearing his uniform. A doctor is usually identified by his white lab coat. A nurse by her scrubs. A pilot by his black and white suit, cap, and epaulettes on his shoulders. A soldier by his camouflage battle-dress uniform.
When a couple get married, the bride gives up her last name and takes the name of her husband, “Mr. Right”. In this way, she becomes identified as “Mrs. Right”. Its like putting on the uniform of her profession. She is taking the profession of being the wife of “Mr. Right”.
So when we are at this marriage of the Lamb, we as His bride, had on horrible, filthy rags for our clothing. We were identified with sin and the world. But God’s church was instructed to be clothed in “white raiment” (Revelation 3:18). When we are clothed in this new, clean, white garment of Christ’s righteousness, we will be identified with Christ, and our sinfulness, our dirtiness, will be covered by His blood, and it will be as though we are clean.
Essentially, at this wedding, we will be surrendering our name of sin and worldliness, our horrible character, and recieving a new name of righteousness, the character of Christ. I want my name changed to the righteousness of Christ instead of wearing the name of sinfulness of the world. What about you?
In upcoming articles i will be revealing my study into the Character Complex, the process of changing our names to the righteousness of Christ.