Whether you are a new Believer or were raised in the Church, you have most likely heard the term Bride of Christ. Like many other phrases that Christians throw around, this one is familiar but misunderstood. How can we allow Jesus Himself to teach us about what it means to be His bride and what His proposal is to His followers?
In order to understand what it means to be married to Jesus, we must first understand that Jesus is Jewish. So, to put our relationship and proposal in context, let's take a closer look at a traditional Jewish wedding in Jesus’ time.
The Proposal | The Jewish Ketubah
In ancient Jewish culture, the ketubah was a formal marriage contract. It was drawn up by the bridegroom. Once the contract was prepared, it was delivered to the father of the bride.
The father saw that the contract not only promised to provide for his daughter financially but also lined up with who she was and what she desired. The father then placed the document before her with a glass of wine.
The future bride then had the power to say yes or no!
Once she read the document, she took the family wine glass and either drank the entire glass or didn’t touch it at all.
If she drank, she was saying yes.
If she didn’t, there would be no wedding.
Note there was no half drinking of the wine. She was either all in or all out. She either accepted or rejected the proposal—no negotiations.
We can reflect on God’s Word to demonstrate how a ketubah proposal from Jesus is relevant even today.
- Jesus has written up a ketubah and placed it in front of our Heavenly Father. The Bible is our promise from Yeshua—our Bridegroom—of provision, love, and protection. It is offered to all, and all have an opportunity to accept His proposal and be married to Jesus.
- You have the option of saying yes or no. Your Father knows that this contract is what is best for you, yet He gives you the choice.
Do you want to accept Jesus’ proposal of marriage?
The Bridal Chamber Preparation
Traditionally, in ancient Jewish weddings, once the bride and her father accepted the proposal, the groom would return to his father’s home to start preparing the bridal chambers.
Just as Jesus told His disciples He was doing for them…
“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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”—John 14:2-3
The Body of Christ is currently waiting for their Bridegroom to return. We walk by faith that ALL He has promised us will be fulfilled and that He will return for His bride. Then, all faithful followers will indeed be married to Jesus and with Him for eternity.
During a Jewish wedding ceremony, once again, wine was offered. For the Jewish community, wine was (and still is) a symbol of great joy and celebration.
Both the bride and groom would drink two glasses during the ceremony—one following the betrothal blessings, and the other after the seven blessings linking the couple to God, family, and one another through covenant promises.
The 7 Blessings of the Wedding Ceremony
- We praise You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.
- We praise You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, Creator of all things for Your glory.
- We praise You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, Creator of man and woman.
- We praise You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, who creates us to share with You in life's everlasting renewal.
- We praise You, Adonai our God, who causes Zion to rejoice in her children's happy return.
- We praise You, Adonai our God, who causes loving companions to rejoice. May these loving companions rejoice as have Your creatures since the days of Creation.
- We praise You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, Creator of joy and gladness, friends and lovers, love and kinship, peace and friendship. O God, may there always be heard in the cities of Israel and in the streets of Jerusalem: the sounds of joy and happiness, the voice of loving couples, the shouts of young people celebrating, and the songs of children at play. We praise you, Adonai our God, who causes lovers to rejoice together.
During Jesus’ time, the wedding day was full of excitement and praise, as it is now. How do we as Believers get to be part of the celebration? We put our faith in our bridegroom, Yeshua.
We are invited into a covenant relationship with God the Father through the Messiah’s death and resurrection. When we accept His invitation, we become co-heirs with Jesus for all of the covenant blessings that are waiting for us in His heavenly kingdom. We are then married to Jesus!
Through faith in His return, those blessings are available to you now!
The Bridegroom’s Return for His Bride
“‘Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’ And to her, it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”—Revelation 19:7-8
Are you ready for Him to return and to be married to Jesus? If not, it is time to align with God’s Holy Spirit and prepare to be ready for your Bridegroom. He is coming back for you and His desire is to lavish you with life and love.
When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, ‘With fervent desire, I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’ Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, ‘Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’”—Luke 22:14-18
Isn’t it interesting that on the final Passover before the death of Yeshua, He refused to drink the wine? What was He saying to the twelve… and to ALL Believers?
He was painting yet another picture. If He will NOT drink the fruit of the vine UNTIL the Kingdom of God comes to earth, as Believers we can take solace in knowing that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Although the Bridegroom has gone to prepare a place for us with His Father, He WILL return… When that day comes, there will be much rejoicing, and these appointed Feast Days will have been the dress rehearsals for that appointed time. What a day of REJOICING that will be when the Son drinks from the cup once again!