The Royal Procession
On Sunday afternoon under a cloudy sky in Webuye, Kenya, we sat in a circle trying to work out the details of a wedding processional. On Friday ten couples are formalizing their marriages as they express their holy vows before family, friends, and church family. The processional is a big deal here and the issue at stake was whether each of the ten couples would have their own individual entrances or whether they would combine together and have one big procession.
After a lively discussion, they settled on the one big entrance idea. (Ten individual processions would take us hours). And one thing everyone agreed on is that it needed to be elegant, beautiful, and focusing on the bridegrooms and the brides who were getting married.
Actually, both in the Kenyan culture and in ours all this fuss over the details of a wedding march takes us back to the royal procession as a king marches forth with all of his mighty men and entourage to go to the house of his bride to be, the woman who will become not only his wife, but his queen.
All this is pictured in Song of Songs 3:6-11 where King Solomon is seen from a distance coming to get his Shulamite bride on the day of their wedding. But there is an even more important reality we need to remember as we watch the wedding processional. This joy and excitement looks forward to the day when Jesus will come to receive his bride to himself.
The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem* from Bethany* was a royal procession, but instead of culminating in the marriage of God with his people, it climaxed with our Savior dying on the cross
“As they drew near to Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage and Bethany on the opposite side of the Mt. of Olives from Jerusalem. Jesus sent two disciples from there and said, ‘Go into the village ahead of you. Just as you enter, you will find a colt tied there, a colt no one has ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you what you’re doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs it and will return it in a little while.’
They went and found the colt tied up by a doorway outside in the street. They untied it, and when they did, some of those standing there said, ‘What are you doing untying the colt?’ They replied exactly how Jesus had instructed them, and they let them take the colt. The disciples brought it to Jesus and throwing their garments over its back, Jesus sat on it.
Many spread their own garments on Jesus’ path, and others spread out leafy branches they had cut out in the fields. Some went ahead and others behind. They all shouted, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming of the Kingdom of David, our father! Hosanna in the highest!’
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the Temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went to Bethany with the Twelve.” Marks 11:1-11
In Caesarea Philippi* Peter confessed that Jesus was the Messiah, and then in Jericho, just before Jesus gave sight to Bartimaeus he called Jesus the Son of David who could give him sight. Now a large crowd entering Jerusalem for the Passover feast shouts praise to the one who will deliver them, the Davidic King, the Messiah who would set up God’s Kingdom on earth. What they didn’t understand is that this Son of David would die as the Passover Lamb before he would reign as the exalted divine king.
LORD, thank you that though these shouts of praise turned into angry cries for your death, you took it all for us so that we could be forgiven. Help me today to cherish this amazing grace, and when I see the big procession on in Webuye as these ten couples unite, help me help everyone to see that it’s all a picture of the ultimate marriage celebration we can look forward to if we have believed in Jesus.
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