6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: A Lord's Supper Service that focuses on Jesus' Second Coming.

Genesis 1” video

So Will I [D]

Welcome and Announcements

Instructions for the Lord’s Supper:

1. All who have placed your faith in Jesus are welcome to participate since you are a member of “the church” even if you are not a member of this local church.

2. If you haven’t put your faith in Jesus, please do not take the bread and the cup. The Bible contains some very serious warnings to those who do that. We encourage you to participate in the Scripture readings and in singing and pray that will be a testimony about what Jesus has done for you and encourage you to put your faith in Him.

I am indebted to Robby Gallaty, the author of The Forgotten Jesus: How Western Christians Should Follow an Easter Rabbi for much of what I am going to share with you this morning. I still haven’t finished reading that book but I can highly recommend it as a great resource in helping to understand the life and ministry of Jesus in light of his Jewish background and upbringing.

John takes a different approach to recording the events of the Passover meal Jesus ate with His disciples the night before His crucifixion than the other gospel writers. Instead of focusing on the eating of the bread and the drinking of the wine like Matthew, Mark and Luke, John gives us the account of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet in the first part of John 13. Then in the last part of that chapter and continuing through the end of chapter 14, John records some of the conversation that took place during that meal, which is the basis for the observance we will be taking part in this morning which we usually call the Lord’s Supper or Communion.

We have talked from time to time about the Jewish marriage process as it existed at the time of Jesus, which is quite different than how most marriages work in today’s culture. But it won’t hurt us to review that process again, since it is so different than the process we are familiar with.

The parents of a young man would initiate the process of finding a suitable wife for their son when he was around 17 years old. The prospective bride would usually be between 13 and 15 years old. It was then up to the two fathers to make the arrangement for the marriage. Once a suitable wife was chosen, the two fathers and the prospective bride and groom would meet to negotiate a bride price, which reflected the value of the young woman to the household she was about to leave. Unlike today, where the family of the bride usually incurs the often-substantial cost of the wedding, the father of the bride actually received something of value, maybe something like 3 goats, 5 sheep, on ox, and a player to be named later.

After agreeing on the bride price, the two families would share a meal at which they would confirm the marriage agreement and the bride price with a cup of wine. The groom would drink from the cup first and then offer it to his bride to be, symbolically proclaiming that he was willing to give his life for her. The young woman would seal the betrothal by drinking from the same cup.

Once that dinner was over the bride and groom were considered to be legally joined and the betrothal could only be broken by a formal divorce. However, the marriage was not consummated at that time. Instead, the bridegroom left to prepare a home for he and his wife. But unlike today, he did not go out and find his own piece of land and begin to build his house or go out and lease an apartment. Instead, the groom would almost always build their new home as an addition to his father’s existing house. So over several generations those homes would grow to be quite large as each son got married. Perhaps that wouldn’t be such a bad practice today, although I must admit I do often enjoy the quiet of an empty nest.

The groom’s father would supervise the construction of the addition. It was not until the father determined that the house was ready that the marriage could take place. In the meantime, the bride would be waiting expectantly in her family’s home for the arrival of the bridegroom, knowing that her husband was preparing a place for them in his father’s house.

Once the new house was approved by the father of the groom, he would announce to his son that it was time to go get his bride. The bridegroom would gather his family and friends and the entire party would travel with him to get his bride. When the knock on the door finally came, she knew that her groom had kept his promise to come back and get her.

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