A. Marriage of the Lamb (Rev 19:1-10)
B. Armageddon (Rev 19:11-16)
1. The Marriage of the Lamb
After the overthrow of false religion, there is a huge celebration in heaven. Justice has been given. Justice by a being that is Omniscient and True is perfect justice.
There are multiple shouts of praise throughout the cosmos. The reign of God is acknowledged. Throughout earthly life, as people struggle through their diverse troubles and circumstances including persecution, it is hard to recognize that the Lord Almighty is reigning. But He does and He always has. Finally, we get to see it and fully celebrate it.
And then, another reason to rejoice – a marriage celebration!
The bride is presented to the Bridegroom. When exactly this event happens we don’t know. Chronologically, it looks like it happens after the Great Tribulation period, which makes it at the beginning of the millennial period. Also, having it earlier would mean the absence of people that are still being saved during the tribulation period. So the presentation can happen only after the Great Tribulation period.
The holiness of God is described as His beauty and likewise, the righteousness of the bride is her beauty. But this beauty is not her own, it has been bestowed upon her by Jesus.
The sequence of events in a Jewish wedding was mentioned in a parable by Jesus. (Matt 25:1–13). The bridal party waits. The Groom and his party come to the house of the bride where the bride is given to the groom. The groom takes the bride and goes to his house/or to the location of the party where the wedding supper would take place.
Blessed are those who are invited to this wedding supper. Truly blessed in every sense of the word. The whole situation and the blessedness overwhelm John so much that he has a Peter-on-the-mount-of-transfiguration moment – acting before thinking it through. In correcting him, the angel reminds John of the goal of all prophecy – Jesus Christ himself.
It is now time for Jesus to make his entry. He is the goal of prophecy. He is the groom. He is the judge. Heaven stands open. “Standing open” is a perfect passive participle, indicating the unchanging nature of this event. With the first seal, the antichrist came on a white horse trying to mimic the Lord Jesus. Now, the actual rider of the white horse is called Faithful and True. Jesus had called himself the Faithful and True witness, now he is the faithful and true judge.
He has a crown of a warrior-judge here, and multiple times earlier, the Lamb was shown with the victor crowns. We know him as Jesus, but His actual Name is beyond human comprehension. God has made himself known, but He will never be fully known.
He comes with his robe dipped in blood. It could be symbolic of his own blood that has procured salvation, but in this context, as He comes to execute justice, it could be that of his enemies.
He is called the Word of God, the name with which John called him at the beginning of his gospel. The Word of God comes with a sword. Previously, he came as a humble king, riding on a donkey. Now he comes as a warrior judge, in triumph and in power to destroy his enemies. He has an army, more accurately an entourage, since he doesn’t need them for the victory. The One who sustains all things by the word of his mouth (Heb 1:3) is able to destroy anything by the word of his mouth. The sword is symbolic of that power. Amongst the numerous kings and lords the world has seen throughout its history, from Egypt to the revived Roman empire, Jesus is the King above every king and the Lord above every Lord.
The stage is set for the aftermath of the battle. Since there is no question regarding the outcome, an angel invites the predatory birds to salivate in anticipation. The armies led by the antichrist contends with the Lord Jesus, but the encounter is brief and predictable. The beast and the false prophet are captured and thrown into hell. The remaining armies are destroyed swiftly and singlehandedly by Christ.
Armageddon is almost anti-climactic.
Paige Patterson, Revelation, ed. E. Ray Clendenen, vol. 39, The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: B&H, 2012)