The Midnight Cry – Here is the Bridegroom!
Jesus is coming again
“No one knows about the day or the hour, not even the angels in heaven, not the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” Matthew 24: 36-37 (NIV)
What do you know about getting ready for the return of Jesus? What are you doing to prepare for the end of the world when God brings us ‘the rest of the story.’ If you are reading the Bible, if you are searching for answers, if you are seeking God, He will answer you and give insight to you into what is going to happen.
Jesus gave much instruction to his followers and to us through the written words of the Bible. Read the verses below from Matthew 25:1-13.
After Jesus told his followers that no one knows the day or the hour, He spoke to them using several parables found in the very next chapter of Matthew. He wanted us to be ready for his unexpected return. The parable of the ten virgins waiting for the bridegroom gives us instructions about being ready.
In verse 25:1, it reads ‘At that time’. This time is referring to the time just before the arrival of the bridegroom (Jesus). We are in that time now. We are in a time of waiting for His return. Although we don’t know at what day or hour He is coming, we are supposed to be ready. What does that mean? He tells us in this parable.
What is described in this parable represents the time just before his arrival.
The ten virgins had assembled together. All had there lamps with them. Jesus describes the five who brought oil for the lamps as wise and the five who did not bring oil as foolish. All ten had lamps; all ten had assembled, all ten were waiting, all ten fell asleep.
The cry came at midnight while all were sleeping, “Here is the Bridegroom! Come out to meet Him” They all jumped up but here is where we see the significance of the preparation that the wise virgins and how it will help us to be ready.
In order to go out to meet the bridegroom, they had to get their lamps burning with enough oil to provide light for each of them. It was midnight and it was dark and there was no light other than their lamps.
The foolish virgins had to go and try to buy some oil, but while they went to do this the bridegroom came and took the five who were ready inside to the wedding banquet and then He shut the door.
In order to be ready for Jesus’s return we need to have our lamps burning and we don’t need to be sleeping.
Hear the cry and wake up! Jesus is coming and He is coming for those who are waiting for Him with lamps burning.
So what does it mean to have our lamps burning? In Matthew 5:16, Jesus says, 14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” NIV
Jesus also said ‘I am the light of the world, he who follows me will never be in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ John 6.35 NIV
When our lamps are burning this represents a relationship with Jesus where His light shines through us. If we believe that Jesus is the Son of God who came to save us, deliver us from sins and give us eternal life, then we are like one of the ten virgins who have assembled and are waiting.
Jesus wants us to be like the wise virgins and to not only assemble and then go to sleep; We are not only to believe in Him and then do nothing. Jesus wants us to be awake, keep the lamps burning by continually abiding in Him with His Holy Spirit living in us. He wants His love to shine through us so that others can see the light, come to the light, believe that Jesus is the Son of God and join with us as we wait for the Lord’s return.
The source of the light in the lamps is Jesus and Jesus must be in us before we can shine. We are the lamp through which Jesus shines.
The foolish virgins let their light go out. This is like the person that first comes to Jesus but then goes to sleep and does not seek to grow their faith, their understanding, and their relationship with God. It is not just about the first step, but it is about the entire journey into an ever increasing surrender to the Lord. When we fully surrender to the Lord, His light is ever shining through us. We are the lamp through which He lights the world.
When the virgins returned, they knocked on the door, they cried out to the Lord to let them enter in.
We need to pay attention and take heed to the words that the Lord spoke to them when He opened the door: “I tell you the truth, I do not know you.”
The door was shut and they could not go in and the worse part about it all is that the Lord declared to them that He did not know them! But these were the ones that first believed and came to assemble with the others to wait for his return.
What happened? Why could they not go in? They did not have a relationship with the Lord. He did not know them.
The five who were ready and were waiting were known by the Lord and went into the wedding banquet with Him and the door was shut. No more could come into the wedding banquet after the door was shut. It was too late to come in. There will be a time when it is too late to make the decision to surrender our lives to the Lord and to live for Him. We do not know the day or the hour when He will come but we do know how to be ready!
Jesus gave us this parable to help us understand what we need to do in order to be ready and well prepared for his unexpected return.
Hear the cry that is going out now and WAKE UP! Do what he says in verse 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
Matthew 15:1-13 (NIV)
1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.