THE JEWISH GROOM’S PREPARATION
In ancient Jewish society, once the bride had said yes to the groom’s proposal of marriage he would return home to his father’s house, but not before promising his beloved that he would come back one day for her.
On arrival back home the groom would set about preparing a marriage chamber for himself and his bride. This was not a detached house, but rather was an addition to his father’s home. It would often have to be built to the father’s specifications, and would not be deemed ready until the father declared it so. Therefore, only the groom’s father would know when the groom would return for his bride!
JESUS HAS GONE BACK TO THE FATHER
Jesus said to the disciples, and to us by extension…
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” – John 14:2-3
Jesus also said this concerning the time of His return…
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.” – Mark 13:32-33
Jesus is right now preparing a place for His bride – the true church!
THE JEWISH BRIDE’S PREPARATION
While her groom was away the Jewish bride of old would be considered consecrated…set apart. She had been bought with a price! When in public she would wear a veil as an outward sign that she was spoken for, and that her life had changed.
She would also be busy preparing herself to be a wife. There was a wedding garment that needed to be made and kept pure and spotless until the great day!
THE CHURCH PREPARES
Every one, male and female, who is part of the true church of Jesus Christ should follow the pattern set by the ancient Jewish bride.
Although no veil is needed today, the world should be able to detect that we are spoken for. We are betrothed to our beloved Bridegroom Jesus! Additionally, we should be busy preparing our wedding garment. This is not a physical piece of clothing, but rather is spiritual in nature. Jesus is returning for a bride without a spot or wrinkle.
Those “spots and wrinkles” are the sins that so easily beset us…the hidden flaws of the heart that, if left untreated, can be detrimental to our relationship with our Lord.
Now, you wouldn’t go out knowingly wearing clothing that is soiled and crumpled, would you? How much more do we need to be diligent in making sure that we remain clothed in humility, gentleness, love, the joy of the Lord, patience, goodness, kindness etc. As soon as the Holy Spirit shows us an area that needs to be cleaned up, let us be diligent in setting things right, so that our relationship with our Lord is not broken!
Finally, we must remain alert, remembering that our Lord could return at any moment to take His bride away!
- Have you accepted the invitation to accept Jesus into your life?
- Do people in the world know that you are set apart....consecrated....that you belong to Jesus, and to Him only?
- Are you preparing your wedding garment...dealing with sins as the Holy Spirit reveals them?
- Are you remaining alert and expecting the Bridegroom to return at any moment?
To be continued…
NEXT: The Bridegroom Returns!