Did you know that the Baby in the Manger was your Bridegroom? Jesus came to save us, and also to make us His bride – the Bride of Christ!
In order to understand Jesus in this role of Bridegroom, and our role as His bride, we need to learn something about the ancient customs of the Jewish people in His day. We will discover the most beautiful love story of a Bridegroom on a quest for His bride!
Did you know that in ancient Jewish families it was the responsibility of the groom’s father to choose a suitable bride for his son? The father would send the groom or a representative to the home of the potential bride to ask for her hand in marriage.
2000 years ago, even though Scripture doesn’t say so, we can assume that it was Joseph’s father who chose Mary to be Joseph’s wife as the custom was.
In similar manner, it was the Heavenly Father who sent Jesus to earth – our home – to get the bride that He had chosen for His only begotten Son. When Jesus returned to heaven it became the job of the Holy Spirit to continue the work of acquiring the bride of Christ.
Unlike the natural Jewish marriage, Christ’s bride is not one individual, but rather a company of believers called the Church, and also called the Body of Christ. Let us look at Ephesians 5:25-32 from the perspective of Christ as our Bridegroom…
...husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.
In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body. As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.
Remember that the church – Christ’s Bride – is a many-membered body, made up of male and female. It may be difficult for men to relate to this female attribution, but it might help if we can think of the fact that in heaven there is no male or female. The bride of Christ, as with the natural bride, is the weaker vessel…totally dependent on her Perfect Bridegroom and completely devoted to Him!
Although the bride of Christ is a group of believers, Christ still comes to each of us individually to ask us to be His bride. We can see this in Jesus’ conversation with His disciples before He went to the Cross.
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. John 15:16We will see it more clearly in future posts in this series.
You and I, the potential bride, have been chosen by Almighty God. Yet we ourselves have a choice....to accept the Bridegroom's proposal or to reject it.
Part 2…3 things the groom brought to the potential bride’s home.
To be continued…