Isaiah 54:5 “ For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.”
Jeremiah 31:32 “ Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:”
Jeremiah 3:14 “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one from a city, and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion:”
God looked down on the earth, and by grace called out a man named Abraham from among his people, and said to him, Abraham if you will follow me, I will make of you a great nation! God had chosen His bride.
Rabbi Hyam Shafner writing about the marriage contract said: “The traditional ketubah is essentially an agreement between the bride and groom outlining, for the most part, the groom’s obligations within the marriage. Since the ketubah is an agreement between bride and groom, both must agree to the terms. This is especially true for the groom since he is obligating himself to most of the terms within the ketubah.”
The Bible is our Ketubah!!!
What do the scriptures mean when they refer to the Church as the “Bride of Christ”?
Why do the scriptures call Christ the “Bridegroom”? And what promise does the Holy communion hold for us as the Bride? The disciples understood what Jesus was saying at the Last Supper because they understood the Model for the Traditional Jewish Wedding.
For us to fully understand Christ’s promise today, and the promise of the New Covenant, we have to understand what the scriptures are saying. And to do this, it helps to understand the Traditional Jewish Marriage Practices of Christ’s time.
Within that tradition we have learned of the Ketubah – the marriage contract. (See The Bride Part 1) The man must leave his father’s home and go to the home of his chosen to offer the ketubah.
In those negotiations ‘the bride price- known as the Mohar is finalised. Jesus/Yeshua fulfilled those details to the letter. He left His home in heaven and came to earth to offer us the Ketubah and to provide the Bride Price through His death on the cross. He came to fulfill the law. He fulfilled the marriage contract – to the letter!
1 Corinthians 6:20 – “For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
1 Peter 1:18, 19 – “Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”
What higher price could one pay? How valuable are we to our groom? What more could have been paid than His life?
In Jewish marriage tradition, the man pours a glass of wine and gives it to the woman. If she accepts his contract, she drinks of the cup which seals the contract making it complete and legally binding.
Although there was no consummation or physical union between the two yet, they were regarded as husband and wife from this moment on. She is considered to be “consecrated”, “set apart”, or sanctified exclusively unto the husband.
The Bride has
Consider your response to this truth!
Matthew 1:18, 19 – “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.”
We see clearly in Matthew that no physical union had taken place between Joseph and Mary, yet scripture refers to Joseph as “Her husband”. Jesus came to the bride’s home, leaving His fathers home. He set the bride price with His blood, and to seal the contract in order to set us, the Church, the Bride, apart, sanctifying us, He poured the wine, and we drank, accepting His contract. So what new meaning is found in these familiar words?
Matthew 26:27, 28 – “And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
This is the New Testament. This is the New Covenant.
We drank the wine accepting His contract, His bride price is paid for us. And we now belong to Him. We are set apart, sanctified. Exclusively Christ’s own! Not when we die, NOW. We are His RIGHT NOW! We belong to Him right now!
Now the Period of Separation!
After the covenant or contract had been established, the groom will return to his father’s house to prepare a place for His new bride. He has gone to prepare a bridal chamber in his father’s house where the bride and groom can be together.
John 14:1-3 – “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Neither the bride nor groom knew WHEN the groom would return for the bride because the bridal chamber that he was preparing for his bride had to be approved of by his father.
Mark 13:31-34 – “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.”
The bride watches for her husbands return, anxiously, she keeps the oil in her lamp full in case he arrives at night. She is watching and longing for his return, while preparing herself for her future with him.
All this time she is earning the ways of the married woman so as to give her husband the best marriage possible. She longs for their relationship to be warm, loving, blessed and deeply personal.
Are we waiting anxiously for His return?
Have we been preparing ourselves for our future with Him?
Are we ready for Him to come at any time?
How and what activity will He find us?
Will we be faithfully looking and waiting for His return? Perhaps we have become distracted and focused on something less than our true love.
During this period of time apart from the bride, the groom is preparing his place. This will be the marriage mansion, built for us in His Father’s house! This place is heavenly. It is built to the Father’s specifications. The groom can only come for His bride when the Father has given His final approval that the bridal chamber is ready.
What joy this truth conveys!