Summary: This sermon illustrates the relationship between the traditional Jewish marriage practices, and how it directly relates to the Church being the Bride and Christ the Groom, as well as the Second coming! Praise God!
The Traditional Jewish Marriage and its Relationship
To the Promise of Christ’s Return
Matthew 26: 27, 28 – “And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
What do the scriptures mean when it refers to the Church as the “Bride of Christ”? Why do the scriptures call Christ the “Bridegroom”? And what promise does the communion hold for us as the Bride?
The disciples understood what Jesus was saying at the Last Supper that day because they understood the Model for the Traditional Jewish Wedding. For us to fully understand Christ’s promise today, and the promise of the New Covenant, we have to understand what the scriptures are saying. And to do this, we need to understand the Traditional Jewish Marriage Practices of Christ’s time.
This sermon will go over the steps involved in a Traditional Jewish Marriage, and in parallel, show how Jesus has fulfilled His promise of the wedding, and how He will fulfill the wedding in complete when He returns for His bride.
Step 1 – Ketubah – The Marriage Contract
The man must leave his fathers home and go to the home of the woman to offer his Marriage contract or Ketubah in Hebrew. There he would negotiate “bride price” or Mohar. The bride price was often high because women were regarded as an expense instead of an asset, mostly because they could not tend or till the fields or work outside of the home to bring in an income. The bride price was to compensate the father for the cost of raising the daughter. The higher the bride price paid, showed just how valuable the bride was to the groom. This gave honor to the family, bride and groom if the bride price was extremely high because this showed just how valuable the bride was to the groom.
We know that Christ left His fathers house in Heaven to come here to the bride’s house, earth.
We also know that the bride price was His blood and crucifixion.
1 Corinthians 6:20 – “For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
1 Peter 1:18, 19 – “Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”
Acts 20:28 – “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.”
What higher price could one pay? How valuable are we to our groom? What more could have been paid than ones life?
In Jewish tradition, the man would then pour a glass of wine and give it to the woman. If she accepted his contract, she would drink of the cup which would seal the contract making it complete and legally binding. Although there was no consummation or physical union between the two yet, they were regarded as husband and wife from this moment on. She was considered to be “consecrated”, “set apart”, or sanctified exclusively unto the husband.
Matthew 1:18, 19 – “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.”
We see clearly in Matthew that no physical union had taken place between Joseph and Mary, yet scripture refers to Joseph as “Her husband”.
Jesus came to the bride’s home, leaving his fathers home. He set the bride price with His blood, and to seal the contract in order to set us, the Church, the Bride apart, sanctifying us, He poured the wine, and we drank, accepting His contract.
Matthew 26:27, 28 – “And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
This is the New Testament. This is the New Covenant. We drank the wine accepting His contract, His bride price for us. And we now belong to Him. We are set apart, sanctified. Exclusively Christ’s own! Not when we die, nor at the rapture, or later when we get to Heaven, NOW. We are His RIGHT NOW! We belong to Him right now!