“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.” John 14:2-3
Our oldest daughter is getting married this summer– my baby girl is going to be a bride! Our 2 sons have married already, and I was somewhat involved in the preparations, but this is different, this time I am the MOTHER-OF-THE-BRIDE! We have been in a whirlwind of wedding preparations – deciding on venues for the ceremony and reception; finding the dress, selecting a florist and photographer; planning invitations, favors, and showers; and much more! Right now she is focused on student teaching, wedding plans, keeping herself pure, learning about what a wife needs to know, collecting items for her trousseau, practicing cooking, generally preparing herself for the wedding and ensuing marriage.
Meanwhile, her fiancé is working hard, student teaching, keeping himself pure, looking for a job, looking for a place for them to live – also preparing for their marriage. One day soon he will come here to Pennsylvania for the wedding ceremony to claim his bride!
In Ephesians chapter 5, Paul spends 10 verses telling husbands and wives what a good marriage looks like, and how we should be treating each other, and then explains why in verse 32 – “…I speak concerning Christ and the church.” Marriage between a man and a woman is a picture of Christ and the Church. Allow me to explain further because as I have learned about Jewish wedding traditions in Biblical times, my heart has been blessed when I made the connections. Jewish marriages begin with a proposal by the bridegroom, if the bride answers, “I will”, the betrothal or espousal period begins—something like an engagement, but more binding (remember Mary and Joseph were “espoused”?). A covenant is signed and the bride price is paid. Once a couple is betrothed, the groom goes away and prepares a place for his bride, usually in or near his father’s home. He promises to come back for his bride, but she doesn’t know exactly when. Meanwhile she prepares for marriage by keeping herself pure, set apart for only her groom, gathering her trousseau of treasures, waiting for his return. When all is ready, he will return for his bride, and it is announced with a shout: “Behold, The bridegroom comes!” The wedding procession begins with all the attendants – on the groom’s side and on the bride’s side. There follows a great wedding feast, the marriage would be consummated, and they would then live together as husband and wife until death do them part.
Remember Ephesians 5:32 said that marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church? Well, Jesus, our bridegroom, left His Father’s house to make a covenant with His bride, the Church, or the saved believers (Acts 2:47). He selects His bride: he proposes to every human being that He has created, “Will you be my bride?” Those who answer, “I will” are His bride, His beloved born-again ones. His covenant with us is the New Testament of His blood (1 Corinthians 11:25) shed at Calvary for us. He paid the price to purchase His bride —He laid down His life for us (John 15:13) for our sin debt – the ultimate bride price! Christ has now gone back to His Father’s house to prepare a place for His bride, a mansion (John 14:2-3 above). Meanwhile the Bride is to wait and prepare for His return — we are to keep ourselves pure and set apart for Christ alone, serve Him here on earth, and lay up our trousseau of treasures in Heaven with our good works that glorify our Father. We do not know when, but one glorious day our bridegroom will return for us with a shout: “Behold! The Bridegroom comes!” He will receive us unto Himself so that where He is, we shall be also! We will meet Him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17), His love for us will be consummated – we will be together with Him and no sin separating us, there will be a great marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:9), and we will live with Him in Heaven forever.
When a groom takes a bride, he promises to take care of her “from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health.” Our heavenly Groom, the Lord Jesus takes care of our past, present, and future. He loves, protects, and cares for his beloved from the day we accept Him as Savior: for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. He takes care of our past sins by forgiving them all when we put our trust in Him alone; our present by being there for us daily as we abide in Him; and our future by providing us a home in Heaven one day when we leave these earthly bodies and go home to be with Him. What a perfect Bridegroom! Will you be counted with the Bride of Christ? Have you said, “I will” to the most important proposal ever made? If you haven’t, I pray that today will be the day that you make that decision.
~Graced and Grateful Grammy
Love will be in the air one day, will you be there?