We are the Father’s best gift to His Son. We are His bride. The word bridegroom is often used as a metaphor for God, specifically for Jesus Christ in the Bible. The church is likened to a bride with Christ as her bridegroom. Hosea 2:19 – 20 is the first time the bride of Christ’s revelation begins to be unfolded.
Jesus referred to Himself as the bridegroom when He talked about why His disciples didn’t fast (Mark 2:18 – 20). Likewise, John, the Baptist, presented himself as the bridegroom’s friend and declared that the bride belongs to the bridegroom (John 3:29). The bride of Christ or the church consists of the entire body of believers throughout the ages, all who have received salvation by grace through faith. The New Jerusalem is also referred to as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband and alludes to Christ as the bridegroom (Revelation 21:2, 9 – 10).
Jesus left His Father’s home in heaven and traveled to the home of His prospective bride on earth to purchase her for a price which was His own blood (1 Corinthians 7:23). He loved her and gave Himself for her. When we receive Christ as our Savior, we consent to the match and are given a priceless token of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:6 – 16).
There appear to be parallels between Jewish wedding traditions at the time of Christ and our relationship to Christ and His work on our behalf. It was customary for the groom to leave his father’s house and travel to the bride’s home to purchase her for a price. He gave a token or dowry whose value the bride knew and could only be acquired with her consent. The marriage contract was then established, and it is from that moment on, the bride is sanctified or set apart exclusively for the bridegroom. It was customary for the groom and bride to drink from a cup of wine during the betrothal benediction.
When we look through ancient Jewish eyes, tradition, and Scripture, we can see the love of God and the passion of Christ as the Bridegroom Messiah and see His death, baptism, the Lord’s supper, marriage, virginity, and Christ’s return differently.
It was the passion of Christ who paid our price by shedding His blood on the cross. The death of Christ was the fulfillment of God’s wedding Himself to humankind in an everlasting marital covenant through this New Covenant in Christ. As the bride of Christ, we are sanctified or set apart for Him, and the communion wine is symbolic of the covenant (1 Corinthians 6:11).
There were two stages of marriage: the betrothal or binding agreement in which the woman is sanctified and legally considered the man’s wife and the consummation of the marriage. It was customary for the bridegroom to leave after the betrothal and construct a marital home for them to live in. After Jesus sealed the covenant with the church, He ascended to heaven to prepare a dwelling place for her (John 14:2 – 3).
This corresponds to the Jewish marriage law. The groom would return, but his exact arrival time was not known in advance (Matthew 25:1 – 15; 1 Thessalonians 4:16 – 17). Thus, when Jesus returns for His bride, she has made herself ready and will be without spot or blemish (Ephesians 5:27). Therefore, we must remain prepared, pure, and faithful (Mark 13:33; James 4:4; 2 Corinthians 11:2 – 3).
The Apostle Paul saw the love of a bridegroom for his bride and talked about it in Ephesians 5:22 – 32, referring to both the natural and spiritual. When Paul talks about the church being washed and presented to Christ, he describes the ancient Jewish bridal bath and wedding ceremony.
We are talking about a Divine love story between God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom, and His Bride, the church. Do you remember what it was like when you were first in love? I can remember the feeling of butterflies in my stomach, the excitement of thinking about them, looking forward to spending time with them, doing special things for them, and talking to the person I loved. I couldn’t wait to talk or be with them!
That is what God wants in our relationship with Him. He desires to spend time with us and us with Him by worshiping, praying, and reading His Word. But God not only loves us, but He is good and has good things for us (Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 8:28).
Love isn’t just a feeling but a choice. God the Father showed His love for us by sending His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins to reconcile us and live through Him (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9). Jesus reconciled us and made peace with the Father through the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:19-20).
Jesus is preparing us to be His glorious bride (Revelation 19:7-9; Ephesians 5:25-32). We must follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and allow His power to be revealed in and through us. Jesus warns us against leaving our first love for Him not because He is God or created us but because He is love. Everything we need comes from Him and is released through His love in us!
“Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place – unless you repent.” Revelation 2:4-5
We must guard against being distracted by the things of the world that would lead us astray from His presence and love. We are to come out from the world and be separate (2 Corinthians 6:17). We must not compromise because the world is doing it. We must not allow and go back to the things we used to do before Christ that do not glorify Him or things He has told us to let go of. He does not want us to remain or go back into bondage to the enemy.
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. Colossians 1:13
We are called to holiness and to grow in holiness. (1 Peter 1:16). Idols need to be removed. An idol is anything we put first before the Lord in our lives. When we allow deception and hardness of heart to come in, we are susceptible to the enemy’s lies. We must walk in God’s truth and love.
God’s heart is yearning for you! He wants a deeper love walk with you. Therefore, we must position ourselves for more of Him, get our hearts right, and walk-in holiness and obedience. Jesus says, “Come away with Me” (Mark 6:31) even as He slipped away from the busyness of His life and spent time with the Father (Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; 6:46; Luke 6:12). We need to begin with His love, and everything we do must start from His love. We need to be all in! Because we love Jesus, everything we do in our Christian walk should be done because we love Him, not because we have to, i.e., tithing, reading the Bible, praying, etc. Keeping our first love for Him is not a one-time event but a daily surrender!
If you have been away from Him, turn your heart back to Him! God wants the restoration of your relationship and to manifest His love! So, ask His forgiveness and repent for any place in your life you have turned from your first love of Him. Then, ask the Holy Spirit what you need to do to restore intimacy in your relationship with the Father and obey what He tells you to do. Our love for Him grows as we spend time in His presence through worship, prayer, and meditating on the Word of God and by putting Him first! Then, when you have a revelation of God’s love, you can’t help but love Him and share His love with others!
We have been called and invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb, but we must have on the proper wedding garments, which is the covering of the blood of Jesus Christ for our sins (Revelation 19:7 – 9). God invites people to the wedding by the Holy Spirit and His servants, the church. That means us!
However, there was a judgment before the final call to the wedding in Matthew 22: 1 – 14. God is merciful and gives people a second chance if they missed His call before. We are not to take His invitation for intimacy lightly.
Recently at Genesis Upper Room Church, Dr. Steve Foss explained that Isaiah 26 speaks to the season we are in, the acceleration of wickedness which signifies Christ’s soon return (Matthew 24).
In the Bible and throughout history, we have seen that sometimes, God steps in to stop the wickedness. This is His mercy because God’s love drives this, but we need to see Him as both judge and bridegroom (pleading for them to come to Him). We must see Him as He is. He exercises loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness on the earth (Jeremiah 9:24). Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne (Psalm 89:14). Righteousness means more than right standing with God but right living according to God’s standard.
People are rejecting God’s authority on how to live. But when sin abounds, grace abounds more (Romans 5:20). God gives us His favor which provides us with access to the power of God for everything we need for life and godliness. Grace and peace are multiplied through our knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, our Lord (2 Peter 1:2 – 3).
When He returns, He is faithful and true! (Revelation 3:14; 19:11; 21:5; 22:6). We must not focus on what is happening now but on the future and His Glory (Romans 8:18). We are to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith and soon coming King. His work was finished on the cross, and He is sitting at the right hand of the Father until He makes His enemies His footstool when He comes back to rule and reign on the earth and restores all things to the Father (Acts 2:34 – 35; 1 Corinthians 15:24 – 25).
We must get our eyes off of ourselves and keep our eyes on what Jesus is focused on and His faithfulness. When we struggle with trusting Him, we are not focused on His faithfulness. While the world is suffering, we will be thriving because God is with us! We are, therefore, to move forward and advance His kingdom following the great commission (Matthew 28:18 -20). Please share the good news with people that they are invited to the wedding feast by Jesus, the Bridegroom!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ® Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. http://www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc. ®
https://compellingtruth.org. What are some of the parallels between Jewish wedding traditions and our relationship to Christ?
https://free. messianicbible.com. Ancient Jewish Wedding Customs and Yeshua’s Second Coming.