Save the Date
April 11, 2021
Save the Date
Wedding Season is upon us! It’s spring time and I’m sure many of you have already received wedding invitations and “save the date” notifications. Some of you will be buying dresses and renting tuxedos because you’ve already been asked to be in a bridal party. There is one party that is coming that you want to make sure you’re at. In fact, it’s your wedding! And you’re the bride! Jesus is the Groom. My goal this morning is to make sure you’re at your wedding and that you’re the bride that Jesus is coming back for.
For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth
Jesus, our Heavenly Husband / The Church is His Bride
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
The biblical concept of marriage differs from our current cultural concept of marriage.
Husband and wife are equal in value, but they have different roles in the relationship.
God wants to nurture us. Through Jesus, He has raised us up to Him in value. Ephesians 2:6 says that we are seated together with Him in heavenly places..
Every good wife is a compliment to her husband. She is adaptive. She is willing to do whatever the Lord asks her to do. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).A good wife is subject to her husband. Meaning she is influenced by Him and under His covering. She is honored to stand by her husband and help & support Him.
Jewish Marriage Customs
The way we think of marriage in western culture is much different than how jewish culture views it. For us it’s a matter of are you taking his last name, where will we live, kids now or later… and that’s us figuring out if we’re ready for marriage. That is what our engagements process looks like outside of the proposal.
If you can understand the betrothal process for jewish culture it’ll bring so much understanding to much of what Jesus spoke of.
- Betrothal- involves the establishment of a marriage covenant
- Bridegroom would travel from his father’s house to the prospective bride’s house. There he would negotiate a price (mohar)
- Bridegroom pays the agreed price. Now the marriage covenant is established. They are now regarded as husband and wife
- From that moment on the bride is declared to be set apart, consecrated, and sanctified exclusively for the bridegroom
- They drink from a cup of wine to symbolize the established marriage covenant
- The groom would return to his father’s house for 12 months
- During this separation period the bride would take to to prepare for married life
- The bridegroom would make living accommodations in his father’s house to bring the bride back to live with him. After the separation period, the groom, best man and male escorts would conduct a torch lit procession to the bride’s home
- The bride expects the groom but does not know the the exact time of His coming
- As a result, the groom would be preceded by a shout
- The shout would forewarn the bride to be prepared
- The groom’s party would join the bride’s party and they would all go back to the groom’s father’s house where the wedding guests were already waiting.
Straightway, the groom and bride would head for the bridal chamber to consummate the marriage.
- The groomsmen and bridesmaids would wait outside the bridal chamber
- After the marriage was consummated, the groom would announce the consummation to the other members of the wedding party waiting outside the wedding chamber.
- The wedding party would pass the news of the marital union on to the guests and they would have a feast and celebrate for the next 7 days.
- During this week the bride would remain hidden in the bridal chamber with her veil on. At the end of the week her veil would be removed so that all could see who the bride was
Let me explain the significance of this:
Jesus left his home in Heaven with the Father. He came to earth to obtain the Church by establishing a marriage covenant.
On the night that Jesus and His Disciples ate the Passover Meal together, He instituted communion. “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” (1 Corinthians 11:25). Here is where Jesus indicated the way He would betrothed His Church. It was decided that He would pay for His bride with His blood. This was the engagement announcement.
Purchased with His Blood
The manner that He saved us indicates just how much He yearns to be with us.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus’ death on the cross was personal. Yes He was obedient unto death. He lived in perfect obedience to His Father. But it was about you too! He wanted you so badly that He would not save Himself. You were the joy set before Him. And if He loved you enough to redeem you by giving His life, why would He also not care about every detail of your life? His love goes beyond the cross. His love is still reaching and pursuing you!
A bride set apart for her groom // Time of Separation
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Hebrews 13:12 (AMPC)
Therefore Jesus also suffered and died outside the [city’s] gate in order that He might purify and consecrate the people through [the shedding of] His own blood and set them apart as holy [for God].
1 Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 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.
He prepares a place for you, she prepares herself for him.
This speaks of the 12 month separation period.
The question is what are we doing while we await for Jesus’ return? Jesus is preparing a place for you, are you making preparations for your marriage?
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
2 Corinthians 11:2-3
For I am zealous for you with a godly eagerness and a divine jealousy, for I have betrothed you to one Husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
3 But [now] I am fearful, lest that even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, so your minds may be corrupted and seduced from wholehearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
Distractions are anything that keep you from wholehearted, sincere, and pure devotion to Christ.
Revelation 2:2-5 (AMPC)
2 I know your industry and activities, laborious toil and trouble, and your patient endurance, and how you cannot tolerate wicked [men] and have tested and critically appraised those who call [themselves] apostles (special messengers of Christ) and yet are not, and have found them to be impostors and liars.
3 I know you are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name’s sake, and you have not fainted or become exhausted or grown weary.
4 But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love].
5 Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent.
Ephesians 5:33 (AMPC)
However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]
The Bridegroom Returns
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
I Thessalonians 4:16-17
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Will you be ready?
Matthew 25: 1-13
1 Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish (thoughtless, without forethought) and five were wise (sensible, intelligent, and prudent). 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take any [extra] oil with them; 4 But the wise took flasks of oil along with them [also] with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom lingered and was slow in coming, they all began nodding their heads, and they fell asleep. 6 But at midnight there was a shout, Behold, the bridegroom! Go out to meet him! 7 Then all those virgins got up and put their own lamps in order. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. 9 But the wise replied, There will not be enough for us and for you; go instead to the dealers and buy for yourselves. 10 But while they were going away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were prepared went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut. 11 Later the other virgins also came and said, Lord, Lord, open [the door] to us! 12 But He replied, I solemnly declare to you, I do not know you [I am not acquainted with you]. 13 Watch therefore , for you know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of Man will come.
Oil is history. Do you have a history of intimacy with God?
This history and intimacy with God is created in the “Secret Place”.
The Secret Place is your one on one with God. It’s in this place that you get to know the Lord.
5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
The Christian life is about more than just making it to heaven. You’re going to marry Jesus!
Jesus is also our Protector. There is safety in being close to Him. Being close to Him will keep us out of the ditch that the devil, our flesh, and the world try to move us to.
- Ask yourself, am I the bride He’s coming back for? (Do I have eyes for Him only?)
- Have I entered into a marriage covenant with Jesus by accepting His sacrifice? (Salvation)
- Am I diligently preparing for His return? (Time spent daily in the Secret Place)