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Summary: A look at Jesus’ desire to have a bride, from OT to NT to Second Coming.

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Jesus and His bride. Advent 2. 7/12/03am WBC

Mt 22:1-13, 1 Thess 4:16-18, Rev 19:6-9

Topic chosen because

- Advent: look at return of Christ

- Alpha: looked at church. Not a building but described as: ¡¥family of God¡¦, ¡¥body of Christ¡¦ and ¡¥bride of Christ¡¦

o Realised there¡¦s just SO much in that last term to encourage us

THE WOOING

God has always loved His creation and creatures

- unlike Enuma Elish. ¡¥gods¡¦ hate man.

- In Bible- God walks with man in the garden. Protected environment

But ¡¥man¡¦ goes astray- and the OT is filled with the lover trying to woo back the straying be-loved

- ¡¥Adam, where ARE you¡¦?

- Hosea: told to marry a loose woman¡K then forgive and take her back when she strayed- as it¡¦s an image of God¡¦s love for people

o His specific people¡K the Jews at that point

You see- in days when people worshipped many ¡¥gods¡¦ and did all kinds of horrible things like sacrifice children

- God found a man with a heart for Him: Abraham

o Left ¡¥polytheism¡¦ and practices of Ur (Babylon)

- God set His heart on reaching ALL people through THESE people

o Made a covenant with them. Not unlike our marriage vows

But even then- the wooer was snubbed so often. Heart broken.

Jer 2:2 " `I remember the devotion of your youth,

how as a bride you loved me

and followed me through the desert,

through a land not sown.

The language of lover, wo-er is used.

- Other language is used, as well- of Father¡¦s concern for wayward son, mother¡¦s love for baby at breast, righteous king¡¦s concern for silly subjects

And there¡¦s the promise of closer relationship- that of right marriage:

HOS 2:14 "Therefore I am now going to allure her;

I will lead her into the desert

and speak tenderly to her.

HOS 2:15 There I will give her back her vineyards,

and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.

There she will sing as in the days of her youth,

as in the day she came up out of Egypt.

HOS 2:16 "In that day," declares the LORD,

"you will call me `my husband’;

you will no longer call me `my master. ’

The promise of it moving from head to heart, religion more into relationship¡K along with a growing expectancy that someone special, the Messiah, is coming to bring about this new era

Regarding the old Jewish way of doing marriage I am told that the whole process started with debate and negotiation

- sometimes it would start with the groom (to be) asking his father to ¡¥get that one for me! We like each other¡¦

- most often- the Father¡¦s would negotiate over what was best for their children

o groom¡¦s father would go to bride¡¦s father¡K and the process would start

„X often a year before wedding itself

„X sometimes more (if children)

„X sometimes they wouldn¡¦t (fully) meet until married

Here- God the Father seeks out a bride for His Son. The process of wooing and debate takes aeons.

- At least 200 years between Abraham & Jesus

- 10¡¦s of thousands of years since ¡¥man¡¦ became a ¡¥living, spiritual being¡¦

THE ENGAGEMENT

After debate, the two Father¡¦s would agree, and the couple would, ¡¥officially¡¦ be ¡¥engaged¡¦. Married in spirit.

- their word= betrothed

- = stronger than our engagement

- sometimes even referred to as ¡¥wife¡¦

The groom¡¦s Father would pay a ¡¥bride price¡¦

- and would also, often, lavish gifts on the bride (to be)

This was a ¡¥downpayment¡¦.,.. a promise¡K of what was to come

- this gave both parties the security, stability that was needed before they moved to the next phase

Infidelity during this phase was seen as adultery

- can understand Joseph¡¦s nerves!

The Father paid the price for us. The bride price has been paid

- the cost was his own Son¡K the groom!

And we are told that the Holy Spirit is the downpayment, deposit (lit ¡¥engagement ring!) guaranteeing what is to come

- our marriage to the Lord

Eph 1:13 Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession--to the praise of his glory.

- it¡¦s a SURE THING.

And the Father has lavished us with gifts.

- poured out the gift of the HS, and the GIFTS of the HS

You can see the picture developing of Jesus and His love, plan, for His bride, eh?

- can understand why, when we go after ¡¥other lovers¡¦ in our lives James (as we¡¦ve studied) calls us ¡¥adulterers.

- We¡¦re betrothed to Jesus

But actually- THIS is not the point that we are at in Salvation-history

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