Summary: Christians are the "Bride of Christ". This message follows that theme, showing our relationship to Jesus, our Groom.
“Falling In Love With Jesus”
INTRODUCTION: The theme of our Revival services several weeks ago was “Falling In Love With Jesus”. Today, I want to continue with this theme. Andy Cook touched on the subject of the Christian as the “Bride of Christ”. This concept has been churning in my heart and soul for several weeks now.
The Bible says that we, as Christians, are the “Bride of Christ” … Jesus being the “Bridegroom”. We are MARRIED to Jesus. As a man, I have a little difficulty imagining myself as a BRIDE! When I think of a BRIDE, I think of the wedding dress, the veil, the lace and sequins, the primping … the “blushing bride”. I think that men have a little difficulty imagining themselves as a “Bride”!
NEVERTHELESS, every Christian is the “Bride of Christ” … INCLUDING … all us males. The Bible tells us a little bit about what it’s like to be the “Bride of Christ”.
Ephesians 5:22-33 – All Turn
In this passage, Paul gives the relationship between the husband and wife. BUT … he also gives the relationship between JESUS and HIS BRIDE. Too often, we overlook this aspect. Almost every sermon I have ever heard on this passage concentrates on the relationship between husband and wife. TODAY, we are going to focus in on the relationship between JESUS and His Bride … us as the “Bride of Christ”.
NOTICE the references to the “church” in this passage … 5:23, 24, 25, 27, 29, 32. Let’s take a look at ourselves as the “Bride of Christ”.
There are several SIMILARITIES to our MARRIAGE with our SPOUSE … AND … our marriage to JESUS.
I. THE COURTSHIP
I courted my bride for several years before we were married. We dated … broke up … dated … broke up … dated, etc. BUT … all the time, I was intent on drawing her to me, to be my bride. During our COURTSHIP, I knew her faults, and she knew mine. We got to know each other pretty well. MAYBE, that’s why she kept breaking up with me!
As the “Bride of Christ”, Jesus kept DRAWING me to Him. John 6:44 – “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:” Jesus knew all my faults. He knew that I didn’t really love Him … BUT … His love for me was so intense that He kept drawing me to Himself. 5:25.
Do you know what it’s like for someone to fall head-over-heels in love with you? That’s what Jesus did! Harriet just “put up with me” at times. It took her awhile for me to wear her down. I persisted until she either had to marry me or move! WHY? I was in love with her, and I wasn’t going to give up until she became my bride. I couldn’t bear to think of spending my life without her. 1 John 4:10 – “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us,”
Jesus loved you so much that He couldn’t think of spending eternity without you! He wanted you so much, that He was willing to DIE for you! 5:25 again. When Jesus “courted” you, He knew all about you … AND … loved you anyhow! He knew that you didn’t love Him. He knew that you weren’t worthy of being His Bride. He knew that you didn’t deserve Him. He knew that you were spiritually dead in trespasses and sin … AND … that your righteousness was as filthy rags. BUT … Jesus loved you so much that He was willing to SUFFER and DIE for you. NOW … that’s LOVE! Proverbs 10:12 – “love covereth all sins.”
II. THE ENGAGEMENT
In Bible times, the engagement period was called an “espousal”. The parents had an important part to play in the marriage of a couple. SOMETIMES, the parents would choose a bride for their son. SOMETIMES, the son would go to his parents and say: “See that girl over there … that’s the one I want to marry.” The groom’s parents would then contact the bride’s parents, and they would begin negotiations for the DOWRY. A DOWRY had to be settled upon. During the ENGAGEMENT, the parents of the groom, and the groom, would have to get the dowry ready.
Jesus, the Bridegroom, paid the DOWRY for us. That was the price He had to pay. He loved you so much that you meant more to Him that His own life … His own comfort … His own place in Heaven at God’s Throne. Jesus was willing to leave Heaven and suffer Hell on earth for you. He loved you more than He loved His own flesh. 5:28-29.
III. THE CEREMONY
Our wedding ceremony took only a few minutes. All the planning … all the anxiety … all the expense … AND … it was all over in about 30 minutes! The CEREMONY … NOT … the MARRIAGE! Harriet’s father gave her away … we joined hands … Harry & Vivian Williams sang “Walk Hand In Hand” … we said our vows … exchanged rings … were pronounced man and wife.