The Engagement

A long time ago, when marriages were commonly arranged by wise parents, the only son of a great king traveled to a far away country so that he could introduce himself to his bride-to-be. It would be no easy journey! Several times the king’s son was in danger of losing his life at the hands of jealous would-be suitors! There appeared to be fierce competition for the future bride’s attention.

For many years the king’s son watched from a distance, humbly learning a trade, being obedient to those who were entrusted with his care. “Love waits,” he said. And so he watched and waited.

When the time was right to reveal his intentions to marry he sent out a messenger to make sure his bride-to-be knew that he was on his way. How excited he must have been to finally be able to announce what had previously been hidden.

For three years the king’s son tried to win the love of his bride-to-be. He spoke words of comfort and love to her. He quickly recognized that her current diet was much too heavy and burdensome so he served her that which was good and healthy. He played the part of a physician, pouring out healing on her ailing body. He anointed her eyes with salve so that she could see more clearly.

If she knew his intentions she didn’t let on. She seemed to be afraid to leave what she had always known. At one point, as he neared her house, he just stopped in the middle of the road and wept. He loved her so much. In the end the king’s son remained alone. He was rejected by the one that he had fallen in love with. In one final bid to show his unconditional love the king’s son made the determination to pay whatever it cost. Then he prepared for the worst.

And the unthinkable happened! During the biggest national holiday, when the whole city was alive with activity and in the mood for celebration, another suitor talked the son’s hopeful into giving him up to the authorities on false charges. The trial was a mockery. He was stripped, beaten, and in their hurried and drunken state, they killed the great king’s only son.

This isn’t a new story. In fact, I would call this an ancient story, written long before time began. Of course we know that the story didn’t end with the death of God’s Son. Jesus rose from the dead and the purchase price for His bride was paid in full.

The point is, the same Son who made such an enormous sacrifice for his bride (the church) so long ago is still reaching out today. He longs to be recognized. He longs for her love. When he has everything prepared in his Father’s house he will return for his bride. That day is soon!

Eugene Peterson puts it this way in The Message: “God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change” (2 Pet. 3:9).

Easter approaches! Perhaps it’s a good time to renew your commitment to the One who loved you so much that He gave His life.