Did you ever catch a fleeting glimpse of something that left you longing to see more? The Bride of Christ is like that…..elusive, yet once caught sight of, unforgettable. The scriptures seem to say little about her, at least at surface level. Yet she is there, hidden in their pages from Genesis to Revelation, to be glimpsed and wondered at by those who truly want to follow her trail.
Moses, Abraham and David all caught sight of her, momentarily only, but each one was forever changed by the experience. Moses wandered the wilderness of Sinai for over forty years leading a stubborn rebellious nation towards a Promised Land he could only dream about. Why? Abraham, a former moon worshiper, abandoned his homeland to become a tent dwelling nomad, seeking something he couldn’t define but knew he must pursue. Hebrews 11:10 tells us he was looking for a city whose builder and architect is God. And David? He too knew he was part of something inexpressible, indefinable, and far bigger than himself or his kingdom. Perhaps it was the Bride He was thinking about when he wrote “LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?”
And each one of them died longing to see more of that city, that land, that dwelling place of God that once they had glimpsed from a distance and forever after longed for exceedingly.
That city they pursued is the Bride of Christ. In Revelation 21:2 she is called the New Jerusalem. She is a mystery, yet to many in this present generation she is being revealed. Have you glimpsed her yet? Some say she is the church, yet she is not the disunified church we see around us in its many diversities of doctrine and practice. No, she is not that church. She is a spiritual entity made up of a corporate host of Christ-followers who are desperately and achingly in love with their Bridegroom. Yet she is one. Increasingly she dwells outside the camp of organised religion for she has not found there the Bridegroom she seeks.
Catching a glimpse of the Bride will change you. Because the Bride can only be revealed as the Bridegroom wills and when we at last see her, be it ever so fleetingly, it is through His Eyes. You cannot gaze on the Bride without experiencing something of the Bridegroom’s fierce and unfathomable love for her. Yes, another mystery, but a mystery worth pursuing.
Have you caught sight of her yet? Once you do, you too will be looking for a city whose builder is God. And you won’t stop until you get there.
All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16
Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Hebrews 13:13-14
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem….. Heb. 12:22