If you are a Christian, then you are a bride. For you guys, that may not sound appealing. However, it’s how Jesus sees His Church. The ancient Jewish wedding ceremony is remarkable. For a detailed explanation of how we fit into this custom, click here.
For now, here is a basic outline:
Ancient Jewish Wedding Ceremony
A. Arrangement phase (Shiddukim – matchmaking)
a. Ancient custom: The father of the groom sends a matchmaker to select a bride for his son.
b. New Testament fulfillment: God sends Holy Spirit
2. Written Contract
a. Ancient custom: Ketubah –legal document citing wishes and expectations
b. N.T. fulfillment: Bible
3. Bride Price
a. Ancient custom: Mohar –price the father of the bridegroom was willing to pay
b. N.T. fulfillment: Jesus paid with life
a. Ancient Custom: Mikveh – bride and groom separately take a ritual immersion.
b. N.T fulfillment: Baptism
B. Betrothal phase (Kiddushim – Sanctification/Set Apart)
1. The Cup
a. Ancient custom: Cup of Sanctification – the bride and groom share cup of wine
b. N.T. fulfillment: Communion/ Lord’s Supper
a. Ancient custom: rings were exchanged as a deposit or guarantee.
b. N.T. fulfillment: Holy Spirit and gifts of Spirit
a. Ancient ceremony: Groom leaves to prepare new home. No contact until done.
b. N.T fulfillment: Jesus goes to prepare a place for us.
C. Celebration phase – (Nissuin – Hebrew verb “nasa”- means “to carry” or “lift up”)
1. Groom returns with a trumpet blast
a. Ancient custom: a shofar would blow to announce coming of the groom.
b. N.T fulfillment: 1 Thess. 4:16-18
2. Marriage Supper
a. Ancient custom:
1. 7 blessings over couple
2. Shared cup of wine
3. Marriage supper lasting 7 days with the whole community
b. N.T fulfillment:
1. Revelation 19:7-9
2. Shared cup of wine that Jesus said he would wait for at the last supper
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”
Intimacy while we wait for the Groom’s return (W.I.F.E.)
A. Worship –God first in spirit and truth
1. Jeremiah 2:32 “Does a maiden forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number.”
2. John 4:24 “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
B. Instruction – Study of Word (Ketubah) and growth
Proverbs 1:8-9 “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.”
C. Fellowship – Encouraging other believers (the bride)
1. Acts 2:46-47 “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
2. Romans 1:11-12 “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each others faith.”
D. Evangelism – Enlarging the Bride of Christ
1. Meaning – “sharing good message”
Christ saves, we just share
2. Live what you learn –share by example