The Kingdom of Heaven is like a righteous son of the wealthiest of kings who loved a harlot very much. In his great love for her, to clear her name, he bore the punishment for her crimes upon his own body and sold all that he had to purchase her freedom. He exchanged her filthy rags for fine linen and her tattered cloak for robes of royalty and pledged to her a share in his inheritance if she should accept his hand in marriage.
Of course, in this parable, the righteous son is Jesus and we are the harlot. Jesus loved us so much that He set aside His rights, privileges and the power of His celestial position, stepped down into our world and became one of us. We were prostitutes and slaves, shackled by insurmountable debt and shame, destined for judgement.
Yet Jesus cherished us so deeply that He expended every drop of His innocent blood to purchase us out of slavery, wipe away our debt and demonstrate how extravagantly He loves us. He stepped down out of heaven to our level in order to lift us up to His. This was Jesus’ lavish marriage proposal to us, His bended knee with proffered crown.
When we say ‘yes’, we are betrothed to Him and by the nature of our covenant together, we have become family, royalty by promise. In that moment we are elevated with Him and by Him, having been radiantly adorned in His love, clothed in the robes of His righteousness, and crowned with the magnificence of His glory. When we are born again we are thus resplendently arrayed. The old has gone, the new has come; we are brand new!
I imagine Jesus escorting us in our brilliant attire into the presence of the Creator and presenting us to the Father as His betrothed. The Father smiles upon seeing the look of intense love on His Son’s face. Turning to us, with the warmth and treasured wisdom of an Agless Father, He blesses us with marital advice saying:
“This is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased. I have seen how He loves you with all that He is and everything He has. He has laid everything at your feet, now honor Him by doing the same.
My desire for you then, My Son’s beloved, is that you always be glad and delight in Him. Continually look to Him, leaning on His wisdom and love for you. And on every occasion appreciate Him and show Him gratitude.
A wedding banquet is being prepared, like nothing you could imagine. A great feast of heavenly proportions. Yet even now, you are already joined with Him in Spirit and I welcome you into Our family, precious daughter. Your new life has begun. Welcome home.”
This story of profound love is woven throughout scripture and is at the heart everything. It has continued to unfold from age to age as the most epic romance heaven will ever see. And guess what? You are the one being wooed! Your hand is being asked for. Your life can change and you can have this real life love story as your own if you just accept Jesus’ proposal.
If you have already accepted it, then don’t forget who you are now. You are betrothed to the King of Kings, co-inheritor of the Kingdom, beloved of Christ. You’re a part of the Royal Family with all the rights, responsibilities and honors in keeping with that position. This is your identity and your value. Never forget it.
If you’re still not sure or you’re feeling less than royal, remember this: this is the only love story that truly ends in happily ever after.
Heavenly Father, I simply pray the truth of Your love for us becomes a personal revelation burning deep inside our hearts. And let every heart we touch be like dry tinder set ablaze by the heat of Your love. Amen.