A Sacred Union
“So the King will greatly desire your beauty; because He is your Lord, worship Him” (v. 11).- Psalm 45
One of the most glorious images set forth in Scripture to describe the union between Christ and His people is that of the bridegroom and His bride. Psalm 45 captures this sacred union in a wedding song filled with figurative imagery of Christ and His church. Calvin believed this “song of love” to have been penned in honor of Solomon when he took his bride from Egypt, as well as a figurative description of Christ and the church. Many interpreters, however, disagree with Calvin, maintaining that the language used in the psalm would not have been appropriate for Solomon, but was solely devoted to the coming Messiah.
The Messiah is described as fairer than the sons of men, as a mighty warrior who is able to defend his bride. He is girded in truth, humility, and righteousness. The purity and awesome qualities of the Messiah are poignant as He is depicted in a divine and majestic light—“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions” (Psalm 45:6–7). Not only is the coming Messiah a mighty warrior, but He is God Himself who will take a people unto Himself and make them His bride.
Those who are chosen among the nations to be separated as a peculiar people cherish this glorious union with Christ. The bride of Christ will come not only from the physical seed of Abraham but from among the Gentiles as well. She will forsake her old ways and devote herself completely to her husband, whom she will love and adore for eternity. The psalmist exhorts the bride to “forget your own people also, and your father’s house” (45:10). When we are joined with Christ as His bride, we become one with Him. No longer are we in bondage to our former way of life. We have a new name and a new station at the right hand of our Lord. God’s people, adorned in robes of righteousness, have a beauty not for the delight of the world, but for the delight and glory of her Husband. As the bride, we are called to glorify Christ, to delight in His ways, and to praise Him in humble submission forever.
Compare the relationship between Christ and the church to that of a husband and wife. How has the denigration of marriage in our society weakened people’s understanding of the union of God’s people with Christ? Assess anew your personal and corporate purity as Christ’s bride.
Passages for Further Study
Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you do not make more than 500 physical copies. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred (where applicable). If no such link exists, simply link to www.ligonier.org.
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: From Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved. Website: www.ligonier.org | Phone: 1-800-435-4343