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Listen to this insight from Dr. Ray Vander Laan:


In the first century, when a young Jewish man reached marrying age and his family selected an appropriate wife for him, the young man and his father would meet the young woman and her father to negotiate the “bride price,” the figurative cost of replacing a daughter. The price was usually very high.


With negotiations complete, the custom was for the young man’s father to pour a cup of wine and hand it to his son. His son would turn to the young woman, lift the cup and hold it out to her, saying, “This cup is a new covenant in my blood, which I offer to you.” In other words, “I love you, and I’ll give you my life. Will you marry me?”


The young woman had a choice. She could take the cup and return it and say no. Or she could answer without saying a word—by drinking the cup, her way of saying, “I accept your offer, and I give you my life in response.” (From His Body, His Blood, by Dr. Ray Vander Laan)