Friday Devotions - Bride of Christ

Pizza Ranch Serves

Friday Devotions - Bride of Christ

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
— 1 Corinthians 10:31

Groom and bride holding hands on hill top.

My daughter got married a few weeks ago. As weddings go, there is a lot of preparation and planning that goes into them, especially for the bride. Being the father of the bride, I gained a different perspective of all that goes into this special day. We didn’t just wake up one morning and go get married. Everything has been planned out for months in advance.

With all this preparation for a wedding, it got me thinking about us as Christians, the Church, as the bride of Christ. As with American weddings, Jewish wedding involve many steps and time of preparation. Much of a Jewish wedding is paralleled in how the Church is the bride of Christ.

The first stage of a traditional Jewish wedding in Bible times is known as the arrangement. The groom and father of the groom go to the bride’s home to “purchase” her from her father. This purchase is known as a dowry. In the case of the bride of Christ, the price was the blood of the Son. This is shown in Ephesians 5:25 “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”. Once the dowry has been paid, the marriage contract is established and from that time on the bride is sanctified or set apart for her bridegroom. It would have been customary for the groom and bride to drink from a cup of wine over which a betrothal benediction was said. This cup of wine is another parallel to the blood of Christ.

The second stage is where the preparation for the wedding takes place. This betrothal period could last for a year or longer. During this time the groom would prepare a home for his bride. The parallel here is shown in John 14:2-3 “2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

During this time the bride would also prepare herself for the wedding. One tradition the bride does to prepare for the wedding during this betrothal time is to immerse herself in the mikvah, a ritual bath of cleansing. This parallel is shown in Ephesians 5:26-27 which explains how Christ helps the church be ready, “26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

An interesting tradition with ancient Jewish weddings is that the bride would not know when the groom would come to take her away. In Matthew 25 Jesus tell the parable of the virgins waiting for the bride groom. Half of them were prepared while the other half weren’t. This a great reminder to be prepared, v13 says “13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

Thinking about this preparation stage a little more, it reminded me of a devotion our department went through recently that definitely showed me similarities to how my daughter was acting as she was getting ready for her wedding. As the bride prepares for the wedding, she is focusing less on her current home, but more on where she is going. My daughter definitely had this mindset. The closer we got to the wedding the less we saw her around the house. She definitely was not thinking about us or doing her “normal” responsibilities around the house like picking her room up and cleaning her areas of the house. As much as her mom and I tried to get her to do it, her focus was on the wedding and where she would be after it. She wasn’t worried about what she was leaving, our home, but was working on preparing herself, just like versus 26 and 27 showed.

This is how we as Christians, the Church, should view this world that we live in. Our home in this world is just temporary. If we know Christ as our Savior, we will get to spend eternity with him. We need to focus less on our circumstances here. The more we focus on what we are leaving (this world) the less we will be able to focus on where we’re going. We need to caution ourselves not to get too attached to things in this world. Now is the time to start letting go and preparing ourselves for the days of eternity. We don’t know when our last day will be here or when Jesus will return for us, but looking around at what is going on in this world, we can only hope that it will be soon. Work at becoming beautiful for Christ, cleanse your soul. Love God, live as Jesus did, love others, don’t fear or be ashamed to share His great news and love with others. Eternity with God will be amazing, spread the good news!

Photo by Foto Pettine on Unsplash