While growing up, the things I looked forward to more than any were times my extended family got together. My grandmother, great-grandmother, aunts and great-aunts could win any cooking prize. Aunt Cora Lee’s pies, Aunt Mart’s mashed potatoes, Elizabeth’s homemade rolls, Grandma’s chicken fried steak and gravy, Aunt Betty’s dumplings, Mom’s mandarin orange and marshmallow salad. I was in heaven.
We never missed a family gathering, but we also never missed church revivals. I liked them for the great dishes that would always be there. The evangelist had to eat and we could all join in.
The guest preacher would invariably pound out a fire and brimstone message about the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.1 I had plenty of connotation to be able to understand a supper or a feast, as they sometimes called it.
I could just imagine everyone getting together at this really long, beautiful table. They could eat anything and everything they wanted for seven years. I really would be in heaven because that was where the preacher said it would take place.
The reason for having such a message during a revival was to let those who hadn’t accepted Christ know they wouldn’t get to come to this supper. It was to get them to think about what they will be missing.
All of this escaped my attention because in my mind, I was back at the feast chowing down. For sure, I wanted to be there.
Recently, I realized an interesting fact. We probably won’t be hungry in heaven. And I’m not sure there will be food there. We don’t know for sure what our resurrected bodies will need, but I just can’t see food, money, sleep, clothes, sex or any of the things we value so highly here on earth being important while we live forever. We won’t even notice the absence of our favorite foods.
So why in the world does the book of Revelation talk about this huge feast?
As I went back to look at the passage again I saw that these verses are really not about a eating for seven years. These verses are about celebrating. It says nothing about food. There’s only one mention of anything edible—the Lamb.
The Jewish people were just like us. When they wanted to celebrate they fed everyone in a big way. They partied and ate for a week after any wedding ceremony took place. They got out their finest plates and linens, served the best wine and killed the choicest livestock. A marriage was something the entire community celebrated and took time away from their regular work to enjoy.
There was dancing and music and laughter. It was what they did for fun. It was an event they looked forward to.
God uses this illustration of the wedding to drive home a point. The Bridegroom is the perfect, spotless lamb who was slain so that those who believe in Him do not have to live forever in torment. The bride is the Church, those of us who are sinners and have accepted Christ’s sacrifice for our sins.
The marriage supper is the illustration of our final union with Christ our redeemer. He will appear as the Lamb who was slain because it’s in that role that we understand His ultimate supreme love for us.2
The marriage supper is a time for all of heaven to rejoice, for the invited guests to rejoice at being ushered in to the role of the Bride themselves and for us as the Bride to rejoice and show our love for Jesus.
It’s not about what we are going to be eating. It’s not about eating as much of Aunt Cora Lee’s pies and cakes as we want and never gaining an ounce or going back for seconds and thirds of Aunt Betty’s dumplings and never feeling gorged. It’s not about eating chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy for seven years straight and not having to get our robes let out.
We see things in earthly terms that only we can understand. We think about how a feast will satisfy a physical and emotional need. Even though a feast is being held, it’s not about filling our needs or desires even though the marriage supper is a celebration and in earthly terms, food is a part of it.
In the ultimate wedding supper, though, one of the reasons Jesus appears in His role as the Lamb is because He is our food and our portion. We celebrate Him. We unite with Him. We covenant with Him.
Grandma’s oatmeal cookies will be the last thing on our minds. Thinking of ways we can show honor and praise to the One who deserves it all will consume us. Time will fade and seven years will seem like less that a week.
It’s a feast, but it’s not about the food. It’s about the Savior.
It’s a truth I could not have grasped even a few years ago. Nothing was more important to me then than the things I ate and craved. Nothing was more important than the next big event when I could eat as much of my favorites as I wanted.
I gauged whether I would attend an event by what kind of food would be served and who was making it.
Now I realize, nothing is more important to me that hearing the voice of my savior, knowing that I am known by Him and following what He tells me.3 Nothing. I desire that union, that marriage with Him, to know His mind completely, to understand the mysteries of the universe, to follow Him for eternity.
To be close to Him forever will be my food. Nothing else will come close.
And no one will say, “What’s for supper?”
“Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure’ for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true words of God.’1
21 John 3:16
NOTE: This is part of a new book I am working on titled, Hungry: Developing an Appetite for God. Would love to have your feedback. What does it mean to you to be Hungry for God?
Get your copy of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor by clicking on the title. Also, grab a copy of Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction. If you already have a copy of either the Study Guide or the memoir, I would be honored if you would go to the pages and share a few sentences in the reviews.