Summary: When Jesus told the disciples that he was going to prepare a place for them he used words that were very familiar, and yet very strange. His words were the words that a Jewish groom would say to his bride at a certain stage of the wedding when he would
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.”