THE DEPARTURE OF THE GROOM
Dorn Ridge, June 13, 2010
(I have used many online sources to find the information on the Jewish wedding ceremony, but do not have the record of who it was, or where obtained.)
1.) Over the past few weeks we have looked at many elements of the Jewish wedding.
A.) Our purpose in doing so has been to better understand how Jesus used the Jewish wedding ceremony to illustrate our relationship with Jesus Christ.
B.) There is so much of our walk with Christ that grows in meaning when we understand the symbolism the Jewish audience would have understood.
C.) But in every Jewish wedding there came a point when the groom would leave to prepare for his bride.
2.) This morning I want to compare that departure of the groom with Jesus departing from this world.
I. THE GROOM PREPARES FOR HIS BRIDE
1.)“In my Father’s house are many rooms.”
A.) Often there were extended family units in a household.
aa.)As the family grew, extensions would be added to the house.
2.) The immediate context is the groom preparing a room for his bride, but Jesus is also speaking of heaven.
A.) As Christians, this promise of Christ going to prepare a place for us is very special.,
B.) The specialness this passage holds to the bride of Christ is often seen at the time of death.
ba.) Many times this passage has been used in the funeral of Christians.
ba-1.) When Christians go to be with the Lord it is the wedding day.
ba-2.) Scripture states “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”
C.) Jesus said: “In my Father’s house are many rooms.”
ca.) Most of us perhaps prefer the rendering of this text from the King James Version of the Scriptures, as it speaks of many mansions.
cb.) The many rooms are more accurate of a rendering of the passage though.
D.) The words that Jesus said were again very familiar to the Jewish audience.
da.) In the Jewish wedding there came a point when the groom would bid farewell to his bride to go and build the bridal chamber for him and his bride.
E.) In John 14, Jesus is giving his formal farewell to go and prepare the bridal suite of heaven for his bride, the Church.
ea.) This scene was just hours before Jesus would be nailed to a cross.
eb.) Just as so many other aspects of the Jewish marriage are reflected in our union with Christ, so also His death and departure.
F.) In an hour that was so dark Jesus used the words of the groom to give hope, and to instill anticipation for our future with Christ.
G.) When Jesus said that in his Father’s house there were many rooms, He was giving hope.
ga.) Jesus wanted us to know that His heaven is large enough to accommodate all who would enter in.
gb.) The book of Revelation further elaborates on the immenseness of heaven.
gb-1.) Rev. 21:15-16
gb-2.) Rather we are to take this figure as literal or figurative, either way it is an incredibly large abode.
gb-3.) If we take this as literal, then it would be 1400-1500 miles or about 2200 KMS long, and wide, and high.
II. THE GROOM WILL RETURN FOR HIS BRIDE
1.) “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back…”
A.) John 14:3
B.) Once the marriage covenant was sealed, the groom would leave to go to His father’s house to prepare the bridal chamber for his bride.
ba.) The groom would be gone anywhere’s from a month to twelve months.
bb.) Usually, just starting out, the groom would build a piece onto his father’s house, and that would be the bridal chamber where he would take his bride.
bb-1.) If this was the case, the groom may have been gone for only a month or perhaps a bit more.
bb-2.) Certainly, as with any young couple starting out they desired to be with each other and to become a new family.
bb-3.) With this in mind the groom would be anxious to complete the construction so that he and his bride would be together.
bc.) If the groom was a bit better established he might build his own home.
bc-1.) In this case it might be as long as a year before he would return for his bride.
C.) Before going to his father’s house the groom would give written promises or vows to his bride.
ca.) The name of this document in the Hebrew was the “Kettubah”.
cb.) The “Kettubah”was a document the bride would keep and treasure as it expressed her husband’s love for her.
D.) Some scholars have suggested God’s giving of the ten commandments to the Israelites at Sinai was a “Kettubah.”
da.) As such, the ten commandments expressed God’s love for Israel – God’s bride in the Old Testament.
db.) The ten commandments also expressed God’s expectations of his bride.
E.) Viewing the ten commandments as a “Kettubah”, I have paraphrased the ten commandments:
I am your husband. I am very exclusive and want you to give your love to me, and to me alone.
I don’t want you to be seeking other lovers or even keep pictures of other lovers you have had in the past.
As your husband I am jealous and want you for myself. Don’t even think of other lovers.
When you speak to others of me, I ask that you would treat my name with respect and honour.
Though we have the rest of our lives together, let us make our relationship special. I want us to take one day a week as our very special time. Let’s take Saturday for that special time. I consider this time with you special so let’s keep it free for each other. Let’s make a commitment to not work or even fill the day with meaningless activity -- just set it aside as time for you and me.
Don’t forget about your Mom and Dad. Our marriage is special but they love you and want you to keep them special as well.
Other wives do things that hurt their marriage relationship and those around them.
I want more than that for our relationship. Don’t let anything come into our marriage that will cheapen it, or bring us or others undue shame, hardship, reproach, or disgrace.
Remember, I am your husband, and I love you.
ea.) Certainly to look at the ten commandments in this manner puts them in a different perspective for us.
F.) Before the groom would leave he would also give a gift to his bride.
fa.) The gift was something special, and usually valuable.
fb.) It was a gift designed to remind the bride of his love for her.
fb-1.) We would compare it today to a man giving a diamond ring to a woman he wanted to marry.
fb-2.) Sometimes it was also something of an insurance asset to help the bride if something should happen to the groom.
fb-3.) In the parable of the ten coins the value of the one lost coin was that it was likely part of the groom’s gift to his bride.
fb-3i.) Luke 15:8-10
fc.) As Jesus was preparing to make his departure, like a groom he gave a gift to his bride – the church.
fc-1.) John 14:16-18
2.) “I will take you to be with me.”
A.) The groom was ready to leave, but reminds his bride he will be back for her.
B.) The groom now ready to leave would veil his bride so that other men would not go after her when out in public.
3.) “You also will be where I am.”
A.) The groom reassures his bride he will return for her.
B.) Knowing it would be awhile before he would be back to take her home as his wife parting was bitter-sweet.
ba.) John 14:28-29