It’s a love song . . . says so in the introduction. It anticipates a wedding, a royal wedding, where a king in his splendor and majesty receives a bride in all her beauty. The verses are addressed to the king but this morning my thoughts are particularly set upon the bride.
All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold. In many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions following behind her. With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king.
(Psalm 45:13-15 ESV)
The song is about a king in the line of David. That at least part of it was divinely intended to foreshadow the Messiah is evident as Hebrews cites Psalm 45:6-7 in making its case concerning Christ’s superiority over the angels.
But of the Son [God] says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
And so, if part of this love song is for sure messianic, I’m inclined to read the entire psalm through a Christ-centric filter. And if Christ is the king of the song, then I know who is the bride. She’s the one Christ has loved as husbands are to love their wives. Jesus having given Himself for her. Setting her apart for Himself, “having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.” His intent being to present her to Himself “in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” She is the church (Eph. 5:25-27).
And what occurs to me is that while one day Christ’s bride will be presented to Him in all her fullness (Rev. 19:7-9, 21:2-3), until then, in a manner of speaking, she trickles in one at a time. Saint by saint those who have trusted in the finished work of Christ’s cross, as through death they are promoted into glory, follow the way of the King’s beloved bride to be in this love song. Having been clothed in the splendor of His righteousness while in their chamber–their place of preparation, they are led, one by one, to their beloved Bridegroom. And, with joy and gladness, they enter the palace of the King.
What is it to enter the palace of the King? What is it, in the space of a breath, to be translated from a fallen world into His holy, holy, holy presence? And would you even notice the glory of such a perfect place when Your eyes fall upon the beauty of Your Savior’s radiant face? We can only imagine.
But we do know that to be absent from the body is to be home with the Lord. That while to live is Christ, to die is gain. And so, as His bride, we make ourselves ready through the enabling power of His indwelling Spirit. Anticipating that day, should He not come before then, when, one by one, we are led to our King. That day when, with delight and rejoicing, we enter the palace of the King.
Because of grace. Only for His glory.