The fifth beatitude, “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb” proves a challenging exegesis. This Bible student offers the following as his best effort to this time, whatever shortcomings it may have.
We can reasonably agree that a wedding supper then celebrated the vows of bride and groom, as a wedding dinner now celebrates the vows of being bride and groom. We may reasonably conjecture that the Wedding Supper of the Lamb represents the “beyond history” convocation of God’s people. After Christ’s Return; after the Great White Throne Judgment; after Satan, sin, death and Hell are thrown into the abyss of permanent spiritual torment.
After all of God’s enemies are gone, never to return, the Wedding Supper occurs coincidental with the descent of the New Jerusalem to the new earth. As a great dedication occurs when we finish a new church building, or skyscraper, the greatest possible jubilation will occur when God opens his new city to all his redeemed through all time.
There, around his throne, his billions will gather. Each person an individual among the billions, each known by name. In instant eye-spatial-contact with God—since time and space offer no hindrance. With Jesus Christ—the FOREVER-visible exact Representation of the Invisible Father, seated at God’s Right Hand, our eternal High Priest interceding for us.
We can also reasonably identify those sharing in the Lamb’s Supper: those wearing “fine linen, bright and clean,” the “fine linen standing for the righteous acts of the saints.” 19:8 Now...for all the “righteous acts” of God’s people in history—and they are many—what constitutes the initial, original, irreplaceable, without which Christianity cannot exist acts?
The life of Jesus is his personal interpretation. He came from Heaven to save people from sin—the purpose of his incarnation; his name the explanation of his purpose: Jesus—Savior. To clothe herself in his “fine linen,” then, his bride must remain true to his name and purpose: witnessing as the saved-by-his-blood disciples to those lost without his forgiveness.
That’s God’s challenge to the church in every age: proclaim repentance to sinners so they can be subject to the forgiveness Jesus died to offer and guaranteed by his Resurrection.
Jesus and John the Baptist agreed. “In those days John the Baptist came, preaching...and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near’” Matthew 3:1-2. “...Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come...the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news’” Mark 1:14-15. Both Forerunner and Messiah preached repentance to all, for all needed to turn from self-saturated egos to God’s righteousness.
Now...by-passing Matthew 28:18-20, consider Simon Peter’s sermon on Pentecost for its fulfillment. “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” Acts 2:37-38.
John and Jesus baptized all penitents for remission of sin Mark 1:4. Without a further promise, because the Holy Spirit “had not been given, since Jesus had not been glorified” John 7:39. Peter instead commanded repentance and baptism for forgiveness so that each penitent could receive the Holy Spirit who HAD been activated by Pentecost as the great promise of Christian baptism. And that, dear reader, is Bible interpretation producing theology, not theology determining interpretation! End Part A