19:7 marriage of the Lamb. The very first marriage, that of Adam and Eve, was to establish the pattern for all honorable future marriages (Matthew 19:4-6), and all such marriages represent in miniature the relation of God to His loved ones, created in His image. In the Old Testament, the Lord is pictured as the husband of the earthly nation Israel. In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus is seen as the future Bridegroom of His church, who will be coming to Him as a virgin Bride. Yet both are sinful and must be redeemed and purified before Israel can be restored as the Lord’s earthly wife or the church claimed by Christ as His chaste Bride. The price of redemption and purification, of course, for all sinners—whether before or after Christ—is nothing else than the cleansing blood of the Lamb of God. Thus, for earthly Israel, God says: “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel: The God of the whole earth shall He be called” (Isaiah 54:5; see also Hosea 2:19-20 and Jeremiah 31:32). And for the heavenly Bride, Paul says: “I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (II Corinthians 11:2). “Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing” (Ephesians 5:25-27).
19:7 made herself ready. After the redemption price has been paid, both the restored wife and future bride must be made ready, the one for service on earth, the other for service in heaven. Israel will be purged and purified as a nation in the great tribulation, the church as individual believers by the testing fires at Christ’s judgment seat (I Corinthians 3:11-15), being made like Him (Philippians 3:20-21; Romans 8:29; I John 3:2-3).
19:8 righteousness. “Righteousness” is actually in the plural, and could well be rendered “righteous deeds.” We who are saved shall have removed the “filthy rags” of our own self-righteousness (Isaiah 64:6) and have “put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27), with His “garments of salvation,” and His “robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10). By His grace, He will use the very righteous deeds and good works which He created in us to perform (Ephesians 2:10) as the material for the fine linen of our raiment.