Ten Thousand Charms

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”  John 2:1-4

Most thirty-something singles who attend a wedding at some point imagine their wedding day.  Is this happening for Jesus as he watches the wedding feast at Cana of Galilee? He sees the joy and His eyes dance and he laughs with everyone else.  He hears the music and He claps and sways to the strum of the instruments, and perhaps He grabs His mother’s hand and takes her on a twirl around the dance floor.

Maybe He’s a little out of breath from the dance, His face is flushed from the wine and as He makes His way back to His seat says to Himself,” I will have a wedding one day. It won’t be with a girl. It will be with a people.”

But then in an instant the bright joy is chased away by the dark knowledge of what will have to happen to make that wedding possible.  Every time John uses the word “hour” in his Gospel he is referring to the crucifixion of Jesus. So, while everyone at this gathering is celebrating a wedding—Jesus knows in order for Him to go to His own wedding He has to pass through a funeral.  That was what was on His mind.

As He puts the golden chalice to His lips to sip the new wine a single drop falls onto the white linen table covering and the crimson spot begins to spread as the cloth absorbs the wine.  He knows that one day his blood must be spilled.  And the sweetness of the joy of new-wine moment is traded for a sharp tang of the coming hyssoped sour wine.

He is very aware that there is a barrier between the Lover and the beloved. And He thinks, “If I am going to raise the cup of festive joy at my wedding feast, I am going to have to drink the cup of the Divine wrath of God. I have to go through that ‘hour.’  I will have to provide the wine, if I am ever going to have this spousal love with my Bride – – – my people, I have to pass through a funeral and the wine must be spilled; that wine is my blood.

I will strip naked for my beloved—on the cross.

I will offer my heart up to the point of breaking—on the cross.

I will be hacked to pieces so that my beloved will be restored—on the cross.

I will become ugly so that my beloved may become radiantly beautiful—-on the cross.”

When I see the extent and depth of love that occurred on the cross for me, a promiscuous lover – – – it changes me; it makes me want to please my heavenly Lover.

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  2 Cor. 5:21

As a pastor since 1984, I’m not going to lie, I’ve seen my share of ugly brides. But do you know has not seen an ugly bride? The groom. It doesn’t really matter what a girl looks like in street clothes, in a wedding dress she is radiant; she is beautiful.  You and I are not much to look at from an eternal perspective.  In fact, I am not sure we could even say we are plain.  From a holiness perspective we are rather hideous.  But we have a Groom who went to a funeral, and passed through that dark veil of death and is welcoming us into the bridal chamber today.

In His nail scarred hands He holds the unspoiled linen of His righteousness ready to wrap around our sagging shoulders.  He is looking at us with the longing eyes of our heavenly Lover and no matter what we look like in our street clothes; we are beautiful to our Groom.

So…

I will arise and go to Jesus,

He will embrace me in His arms;

In the arms of my dear Savior,

O there are ten thousand charms.

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4 thoughts on “Ten Thousand Charms

  1. Very wonderfully put – we rarely try to put ourselves in His position and try to see from His prespective. Beautiful picture that you have drawn from that scripture. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has never seen it in that way before.

  2. I am not a writer, but I enjoy reading from writers. It is thoughtful and moving. The thought of the funeral before the wedding will open preaching nuggets for me in the near future. It is easter after all. We have to attend the funeral before we view the resurection too.

  3. Pastor Joe, Was this your sermon from Sunday? Incredible! It leads one to a depth of understanding within their grasp with the metaphors an word symmetry. Very powerful.

  4. I think the image of the cloth soaking red and the stain “spreading” really got me thinking of Calvary. Thoughtful and provocative. Thanks for sharing.

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