This is my story.
This is the story of the Bride of Christ.
This is your story.
There once was a certain girl who grew up in the land. She had been a slave for as long as she could remember. Everyone she knew was a slave. And the life of a slave was all she knew.
There arose in the land a great king who was righteous. His heart broke for the people who were enslaved in the land and His anger was kindled against their taskmasters. He took note of the slave girl and He loved her from the moment He saw her. In fact, He loved her so much that He immediately went to her and rescued her from slavery. He brought her into His castle and ordered His servants to exchange her dirty, tattered garments for the finest garments of the kingdom, put shoes on her feet, and rings on her fingers. A party was thrown that very night in the castle in her honor. There was more delicious food than the girl had ever seen in her entire life. She was overwhelmed by the generosity of the King toward her. As the party rolled on into the night, and the she had eaten more food than she could hold and laughed and smiled more than her cheeks could bear, the King stood up and announced His plan to adopt her as His very own daughter. And so He did.
And all was well for a time. The girl loved her new life. And the King loved her with a father’s love. He took great delight in seeing her thrive in the kingdom and feel secure and full of joy. But eventually, the girl ran into one of the taskmasters who had formerly ruled over her. “Who do you think you are?” he scoffed at her. “You were born a slave. You’ll always be a slave. Those fancy clothes don’t fool me. I know who you really are. You don’t belong in the King’s kingdom.”
And the girl remembered her former life and fell into despair, thinking, “He’s right. Who am I to be favored by this king? Surely I am not truly loved by him. Who am I to walk around as if I am His true daughter when I am not even worthy to be His servant. There has been a mistake.” It was at this time that she withdrew from the presence of the King. She took off the beautiful clothes He had given her and put back on her filthy rags. She kept to herself and her shame drove her deeper into despair.
The King took note of her absence and sought her out. When He found her alone, He asked, “Why have you withdrawn from me? Where are your fine garments? You are my beloved daughter. It is my desire for you to grow up before my eyes because I delight in you. I delight in beholding you. I delight in knowing you. I delight in blessing you.”
The girl wept at the King’s words, but could not bring herself to believe them. “Your words cannot be true,” she retorted. “How could a king love a slave as His own daughter? Those clothes don’t belong to me. They don’t change who I am. All they have done is cover up the filth from my years as a slave. I don’t belong here. I don’t belong to you. I should go back to the slave pits.”
And the King wept to hear her heart. “But all I have, I have given to you. Anything and everything in my kingdom is yours.” But the girl would not accept any of it. She felt too unworthy.
About that time, the slavemaster came to the gates of the castle to demand her life be turned over to him. And he brought with him a great host of oppressors. “Return the slave girl to me, for she is mine!” He yelled up at the castle. “She was born a slave and she will die a slave. She has no business in your kingdom, let alone your family. I will fight for her tooth and nail! Surrender her now!”
At this, the King’s passion was kindled. He called to himself His only begotten Son, the heir of the kingdom, and the captain of His army. “Son, the time has come to fight for the life of my daughter. The slavemaster has demanded she be given up, but I will not stand for it. She is my own and even if I must give up my whole kingdom for her, so be it. Even if you, my only flesh and blood son, must die for her, so be it. All the power and authority of my kingdom I give to you to leave this castle, descend to the slave pits, and defeat the slavemaster and his host.”
The Son of the King took no convincing for He had already fallen head over heels in love with the girl. The passion in His heart toward her matched the passion in His father’s heart for her. “Father, I am more than willing to fight for your daughter, my beloved. I will conquer this foe even if it means my own death so that she might stay here in this kingdom and remain with us forever, knowing how much we love her.”
And so, the King’s Son led His army into war. Two mighty hosts crashed into one another in the slave pits all on behalf of the life of one slave girl. And for a time, it seemed as though the army of oppressors had the upper hand. The Son of the King and the slavemaster went head to head in combat. The Son of the King fought gallantly, but the slavemaster eventually dealt a mighty blow to the Son of the King, knocking Him off His horse into the dust. He lay there on the ground for what seemed like three day. But then, just when it seemed that the slavemaster had won, the Son of the King rose up off the ground, drew back His mighty sword and slew the slavemaster.
Now, the King had taken the girl up to the highest tower of the castle so that she could watch the battle that was being fought on her behalf. “Do you see my Son down in the slave pit fighting for you?” He asked. “He has fallen in love with you. He is willing to lay down His life so that you might live. This is the greatest love of all.” And the slave girl wept to see this mighty prince in battle all because He loved her. “Daughter,” the King said. “I have always loved you. You did not choose me. I chose you to be mine. Now it is my desire and privilege to see your joy be full. Do you love my son who loves you and would give His life for you?”
At this, the girl looked fully into the King’s eyes and said with all sincerity, “Yes. I love Him. I love Him with all that is within me.”
The King beamed with joy to hear her choose His son. “Then it is settled. Upon my son’s return, I will give you in marriage to Him. His name shall be your name. His inheritance shall be your inheritance. And you will KNOW that you are my true daughter, once and for all. And none shall be able to deny it.”
And so it was that when the Son returned, He sat down at the right hand of His father. The former slave girl exchanged her tattered garments once again, this time for a beautiful wedding gown, and the King’s Son received her as a bride unto himself. And the Son loved her. And the Father loved her. And she loved the Son and she loved the Father. And she came to know her place in the kingdom, her place in the family. She walked in the authority of the King, not ruling over others, but serving and loving others as the Son had loved and served her. She made a way for others to be exalted just as the Son had made a way for her. She spent time before the eyes of her Father, the King, serving in His courts, sitting at the foot of His throne, listening to His wise words, and reclining her head in His lap. And she knew once and for all, that she was His true daughter. And the Father and the Son took great delight in her.
And it came to pass, that one day the King took her up to the top of the highest tower again. “Look down into the slave pit, Daughter, and tell me what you see.”
“I see slaves at work, trying so hard to please their taskmasters so that they might find one small moment of relief, joy, anything. Father, my heart is moved with compassion for them. I used to be just like that. But because of your love for me and the love of your son, I am free. Father, your love is so great. Would you not take them in and adopt them as you have done for me?”
The King beamed with fatherly pride to see that His daughter had developed a heart just like His own. “That is exactly what I desire. Long have they been oppressed and long have I waited for you to feel what I feel and think like I think. You finally know your true identity, your place in this family.”
“It is only because of your unconditional love that you showed me, Father. It’s only because you and your son were the only ones to love me with no agenda, no strings attached, while I was yet a slave, unworthy of such love.”
“Daughter, it is the thrill of my heart for you to know my love, but the people down in that pit, they don’t know it. But I love them the same way that I love you. I want to adopt them in to this family.”
“Don’t they know that your son has defeated the slavemaster?”
“No, Daughter, they don’t know. And they won’t know unless they are told.”
“Then send me, Father. Let me go to them and tell them. Who better to go than the one who knows what it was like to be a slave and now is truly free because of your love? Let me bear the love you have for them.”
This was exactly the will of the King. So He sent her out as an ambassador for His Kingdom. She was to represent her family, her bridegroom, her father, her King. She declared the King’s unconditional love everywhere she went and expressed it through her actions. Many accepted this message of freedom through His love.
And thousands of slaves became true sons and daughters of the Most High King all because one slave girl dared to believe what the King said about her.