The above sentence is best understood when read in the light of Revelation’s last few chapters. There the church is revealed as “a bride adorned for her husband” who has made herself ready for “the marriage supper of the Lamb”.
The Bible is a story about a Bridegroom and his bride.
The imagery of this divine union is found early in Genesis, and it reaches its climax in the last chapters of Revelation. In Genesis we read about the union of the first Adam and his bride, in Revelation we read about the union of the Last Adam and his bride.
Everything in between is a commentary on this divine romance, a glorious love story of love lost and found.
Humans are obsessed with this story, even if they won’t acknowledge it. Our movies and books are filled with it: Boy meets girl, fall in love, split up and reunite. And then they live happily ever after. This is the grand narrative of the ages. This gospel is written on our hearts, and it is a tragedy if we fail to make the link between this deep intuition, this overriding passion, and our “Christian theology.”
I always marvel how easy it is for new believers to grasp the above. Their love affair with their Lord is plain to see. They are dizzy with joy and oblivious to the call of all other lovers. For them, Jesus Christ is all.
Unfortunately, the passion of the heart tends to become the knowledge of the head after a while, and then “first love” fades away like morning mist.
Love for God was never intended to be temporary. It is freely given at first, but it requires careful cultivation to become permanent.