Think about the process a bride goes through in order to prepare for her wedding day: the dress, the hair, the makeup, the nails, the shoes, etc. All of this in anticipation for that one moment when her groom lays his eyes on her for seemingly the first real time. Imagine the careful intentionality that a bride goes through for that all-important, ever-remembered moment for her, her betrothed, and the watching crowd.
Now consider that same bride on the morning of her wedding- beaten, dirtied, diseased, starved, bruised, homeless, and drunk. Her dress is torn and muddied, her bones protrude from her skin as a skeleton for lack of nourishment, she hasn't slept in days, and she's been beaten. All of this, not because of anyone else- but by her own, conscious decisions and mistakes, that have led her to this condition on the day of her wedding. Picture her, not walking to her groom down the aisle, but staggering- crawling to him, crying and broken- shamed.
Everyone watching, including the bride herself, fully expects him to turn his head away in disgust. At the very least he will cringe at the sight of her- politely excuse himself, maybe- and understandably so.
Instead the perfectly manicured groom, cleanly shaved and clothed in the finest of garments- the standing embodiment of masculinity and confidence; gleams the most brilliant, recklessly abandoned, unbelieving smile that everyone expects of an unimaginably proud groom. He beams with anticipation and pride as he anxiously awaits the arrival of his long-admired bride. As she approaches the front, he bends down to help her up and allows her to lean on him fully, as she cannot stand by her strength alone. She's so dirty that his clothes and face are instantly stained by coming into physical contact with her. As she braces herself on his sturdy frame, swollen eyes to the ground, he gently places a finger under her chin and lifts her gaze to his face.
He takes every bride.
His name is Jesus.