In ancient Jewish wedding customs, the groom’s father would choose a bride for his son. If the bride’s father agreed, terms of payment would be agreed upon. This was called the “bride’s price,” and the groom’s father was basically buying her for his son. Once any agreement was made and the price paid, the bride and groom would sign a contract or covenant called a “Ketubah.” Then they would drink wine as a symbolic sealing of the marriage contract. (ESP – all emphasis mine)
At this time, the couple was “betrothed” and actually considered to be married. However, before they could consummate the marriage, the groom would return to his father’s house to build an addition onto it. He would work until the father would give him permission to go and get his bride. The bride had no idea of the day or hour that the groom would call for her, so she had to be ready at all times. Many times, the groom would arrive in the middle of the night, and sometimes it would be to the sound of horns and shouting from a crowd of people that would follow him. It was a very wonderful, joyous occasion.
The groom would take his bride back to his father’s house, to the place he had prepared for them to live in, and they would have a great feast lasting sometimes up to seven days. At this point, they would officially begin their married life.
If all this sounds familiar, our Savior is our Bridegroom, and the Church – not any building or particular religion, but all true believers who have received and accepted Jesus as their Savior – is the Bride of Christ.
It is said that at the last supper when Jesus shared the wine with His disciples, He told them He would not drink of it again until He would drink it in His Father’s kingdom (Matthew 26:29, Mark 14:25, and Luke 22:18).
In John 14:2-3, Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also.”
Jesus made it clear that He was not just here for His disciples or only for God’s chosen people, the Jews. John 10 is a chapter with a wealth of information that totally applies today. For example, in verse 9, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” Then verses 14-16, “I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own, and My own know me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, one Shepherd.”
Jesus paid the “bride’s price” with His own blood. He makes it very clear that this was His decision, and He freely made the commitment in verse 18, “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.”
One note here: I am very humbled and totally thankful to our Lord and Savior that He went through the agony of a most terrible death for me. As a line from the song “At the Cross” states, “Alas, and did My Savior bleed, and did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?” (Isaac Watts 1707)
As for the day and hour that Jesus will return for His bride, Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32, 2 Peter 3:10, and Acts 1:7 all state it’s not for us to know. However, there are signs given by Jesus, Paul, John, Peter, and many others that tell us what will be happening near the end of this age. We are told to be ready for whenever He comes. All the signs are here right now and for the first time ever, all at once.
Does this mean we are to live a perfect, sinless life once we ask Jesus to be our Savior? It would be wonderful if we could; however, Our Heavenly Father knows our weaknesses and that we will be sinners as long as we’re in these human bodies. Romans 3:10 says, “as it is written, none is righteous, no not one.” Then Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” He does provide us a pure pathway to forgiveness when we do sin, in 1 John 1:8-10. Without God’s forgiveness, how can we even expect to be worthy to be taken Home by our Savior? Paul tells us in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ, our Lord.”
Until the Bridegroom comes for us, and we are taken up to meet Him in the air at the Rapture, we will be in perishable, human, sin-filled bodies. At the moment we are taken up, right after the dead in Christ are raised imperishable, we will all be changed into forever, immortal bodies, and with the mindset of our Savior (1 Corinthians 15:51-53 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
There are numerous verses throughout the Old and New Testaments that tell us about our coming “wedding” with our Most Holy Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. The most important part is for us to follow Romans 10:9-13 and call out to be saved. At that time, we are “betrothed.” What we will be listening for is the Trumpet of God and a shout of an archangel, and having the “Wedding Music” in our hearts.
Kirk Talley and Phil Cross wrote a song around 1993 called “Is That Wedding Music I Hear?” It’s a very “right-now” song, and we could be hearing it very soon.
(ref) Is that Wedding Music I Hear? The bride’s adorned and ready to appear. There’s Heavenly preparation for the Wedding Celebration; Is that Wedding Music That I Hear?
1.) The family is preparing for a wedding; all of them invited to attend. The bride is standing ready, waiting for the signal, when the Groom says Christ My Children, come on in. (ref)
2.) Soon we’ll rise to leave this land of sorrow for that ceremony in the air. The Father then will lead us through the Holy Land of splendor; have you made your preparation to go there?
(ref) There’s Heavenly preparation For the Wedding Celebration; Is That Wedding Music? Oh, is that Wedding Music I hear?
Romans 5:8 tells us, “but God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
“Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.” – (Elvina M. Hall 1805)
On the other side, all who reject the Bridegroom will not spend eternity in Heaven with Him. They will have a permanent, eternal residence in the total darkness of the lake of fire called hell. There is no third option, as many false prophets are saying today. Anyone who ends up there will have chosen it, as the Father will not force anyone one way or the other.
Choose life; choose the most wonderful Bridegroom we could ever have; choose My Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. Hope to see you at the Wedding.