This is the 3rd part of a 3-part-piece covering The Great Pursuit. Please check out the other two here:
“Let us rejoice and exult and give glory, for the marriage supper of the Lamb has come, and the Bride has made herself ready;” Revelation 19:7 (ESV)
So, what are the responsibilities of the Bridegroom during the Betrothal?
This is the third edition of posts looking at Jewish wedding customs and how they relate to Jesus Christ and His betrothal to us, His Bride. (Adapted from Jewish Wedding Customs and the Bride of Messiah, available at http://messianicfellowship.50webs.com/wedding.html)
Responsibilities of the Bridegroom
During betrothal the groom’s responsibility is to focus on preparing a new dwelling place for his bride and family:
- In Biblical times this was most often done not by building a new home – but by simply adding additional rooms to the family’s existing home.
- The Rabbi’s determined that the place to which the bride was to be taken must be better than the place she had lived before.
- It was not the groom’s duty to determine when the place he was preparing for the bride was ready – his father would make that determination and give the go ahead to receive his bride.
The bridegroom leaves and begins to prepare a bridal chamber for his new bride in his Father’s house. The bridal chamber is where the bride and the bridegroom will consummate their marriage. It must be very beautiful, and it has to meet the specifications of the bridegroom’s father.Lets look at John 14:2-3:
“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
So Jesus has already told us what He is doing. He is fully embracing His betrothal to us. He has gone to prepare a place, and we have not seen Him for the past 2000 years. Why? Well, clearly the bridal chamber is not yet ready. It is probably why He said in Matthew 24:36:
“But concerning the day and the hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”
It’s not because Jesus doesn’t know all things and is not all-powerful. No, it’s because He has embraced the wedding game (process), and therefore He knows that only once the Father is happy with the bridal chamber that He is preparing, will His Father give Him the go-ahead to come and fetch us, His Bride. He is fully submitted to His Father in this, as a good son would be. He knows that His Father knows best when it comes to these things.
The Grooms family hard at work
Lets look at it this way; lets look into Heaven for a moment and imagine a potential dialogue between Jesus and His Dad as they are fully active in preparing the Bridal chamber.
Just imagine Jesus preparing away, and every week or so coming to His Father and saying, “Dad, come look! Come see if it’s ready.”
And His Dad, getting off the throne for a moment, goes to inspect the bridal chamber. After walking around it and inspecting every draping, every emerald, jewel, and golden embroidery, every flower, every decoration, and every colour, He says, while pointing around the room, “Son, have you thought of this, and what about that…”
Jeus looks at His dad, and then looks at the chamber, and then back at His Dad replying, “Oh yes… You’re right. I didn’t think of that. Ok, give me a week. I’m sure I saw some of that in the Royal store-house. Thanks Dad.”
And His Dad, while looking down towards the Earth replies, “Good my son, you take whatever you need from the store-house. And get some of those bridal angels to help you. That’s what they’re there for. It has to be perfect for her. Look at her, she is the most beautiful girl in the universe. We can’t leave anything out.”
And Jesus, while peering down at His Bride, says noddingly, “Yes Dad, I know. It’s why I went down to pay the price for her remember…”
Dad replies “Yeah yeah, I know Son, I’m just reminding you. You know how forgetful you can be when you start staring at her. She not only takes your breath away, she completely dumbfounds you. You completely forget about the bridal chamber. No-wonder its taken you over 2000 years to get it ready… [Chuckling] You can’t get your eyes off of her.”
Jesus, blushingly, just stairs at his toes with a kinda naughty, in-love look on his face. “What do you expect me to do Dad? She is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I can’t contain myself. I just want to look at her. All the time. ”
His Dad, lovingly puts His hand on His Son’s shoulder and says,” I know my son. She’s beautiful. That’s why I chose her for you. I knew you’d love her. I knew you’d appreciate her. And that’s exactly why we need to get this bridal chamber ready. She deserves only the best!”
Jesus looks up at His old man with a look of determination on His face and says, “You’re right Dad. It must be perfect. Thanks for being so supportive in this. You really are the best Dad in the whole world!”
So as you can see, we clearly have nothing to worry about. These two are hard at work preparing everything for us. Why? Well, because we are the most beautiful bride in all the world. And next, before we look at what our responsibilities are as a bride, we will take a closer look at who we really are in His eyes. Who is this girl that the Father has chosen for His Son? Who is this girl that has stolen the heart of God? Who is she…
Father, open our eyes so that we may look into Heaven and see. Show us what you are doing and what you are saying. Just like Jesus did only what He saw you doing, so also, reveal to us what you are doing in this hour. We want to know. We want to see. We are curious. Inquisitive. Show us Lord. We want to know you…