The digital image doesn't do it justice.
The print that I looked at, for no more than a minute, burrowed into my mind for the next few days. So, much so that I mentioned it at a church meeting.
One of the families unexpectedly purchased and framed the print for pastor appreciation month, and I was incredibly blest to receive it!
I love this picture.
This embodies what Christian art should be.
At first glance it raises questions: Is this Jesus? Why is Jesus embracing a woman romantically? Who is this woman? What is the occasion of this embrace? Why are the flags of the world on her dress? Is that a wedding dress?
There is an initial tension in this picture. As one visitor to my office asked, "Why do you have a picture of Jesus making out with some chick?" (Which was a little crudely put, but still an honest question.)
But then we have to think through our theology: Where are there marriages in the New Testament? Who is this bride supposed to represent? When is this picture taking place? Past? Present? Future?
And we then come to an incredibly beautiful, powerful and utterly unique piece of art. This is the marriage supper of the Lamb.
"Hallelujah, because our Lord God, the Almighty, has begun to reign! Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has prepared herself. She was given fine linen to wear, bright and pure." (Revelation 19:6b-8 HCSB)
This is the universal Church being united to her bridegroom, our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the point when at long-last, after all the tears, after all the pain, disappointments, turmoil, hardships and sorrows, we will be united with our Saviour. All the hurt, and agony ends at this point in time. Life - the way life was meant to be - begins here.
This is the moment when we discover that enduring the darkness of this world is absolutely nothing compared to the reward.
And the ultimate reward isn't heaven. It isn't immortality. It isn't a glorified resurrected body. Yes we get all that. But the ultimate reward is far greater.
The reward is Jesus Himself.
I love how the bridegroom is king, and three crosses stand atop his crown symbolizing both his great sacrifice and the triune God.
I love the bride's face, and how her head is thrown back in absolute joy. I love how Jesus is holding her, gentle but firm, with rejoicing on his face as well.
Artist Jennifer Oakley-Delaplante has created a masterful piece of art that will inspire and encourage me for years to come.
Jennifer Oakley-Delaplante shares some of her inspiration on her blog.
Welcome to the marriage supper!