Both the Old
and the New Testaments describe how God through Christ, the
Bridegroom, is in the process of marrying His bride, the believers
in Him, who will ultimately live and dwell with Him
God ordained and established marriage and its divine
sanctity in Genesis, when He brought Adam and Eve together to become
one flesh. (Genesis 2:21-24) Adam is a type of Christ here. (Rom
5:14) God had a deep sleep fall upon Adam. Sleep is synonymous with
death. (Eph 5:14) The deep sleep that God caused to fall upon Adam
is a picture of the crucifixion and death of Jesus. God brought a
deep sleep upon Adam so He could take a rib from the side of his
flesh. This required the shedding of blood. This is a picture of
Christ who was pierced in the side of His flesh, shedding His own
blood when He hung on the tree. From the rib of Adam, God made Eve.
By the death of Jesus and our faith in Him we become wedded to Him,
and thus the Bride of Christ. By accepting, trusting, and believing
in Jesus, we become one with Him.
[Eph 5:31] For this cause
shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto
his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. [Eph 5:32] This is a
great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the
[2 Cor 11:2] For I am jealous over you with godly
jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, which I may
present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
The ancient Jewish
wedding ceremony God gave to the Jewish people was to teach us also
about the wedding of the Messiah. This ceremony consisted of 12
Notice the complete similarities to this wedding
ceremony and the Church, or Bride of Christ today.
selection of the bride.
The bride was usually chosen by the
father of the bridegroom. The father would send his trusted servant,
known as the agent of the father, to search out the bride. Read Gen
24. In this chapter, Abraham (a type of God the Father) wishes to
secure a bride for Isaac (a type of Messiah) and send his servant
Eliezer (a type of the Holy Spirit) to do this task. It is the role
of the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin and lead them to God.
(John 16:7-8) Just as the bride was usually chosen by the father of
the bridegroom, so the believers in the Messiah are chosen by God.
(John 15:16) The bridegroom chose the bride and lavished his love
upon her and she returned his love. This can be seen in Eph 5:25.
Rebekah consented to marry Isaac even before she ever met him.
Today, the believers in the Messiah consent to become the bride of
Christ even though we have never seen Him. (1Pet 1:8)
bride price was established.
A price would have to be paid
for the bride. Jesus, being our bridegroom paid a very high price
for His bride, the body of believers. The price He paid was His
life. (1Cor 6:20)
3. The bride and groom are betrothed to
Betrothal is the first of two steps in the
marriage process. Betrothal legally binds the bride and the groom
together in a marriage contract, except they do not physically live
together. Whenever you accept the Lord into your heart and life, you
become betrothed to Him while living on earth.
4. A written
document is drawn up.
This contract states the bride price,
the promises of the groom, and the rights of the bride. The groom
promises to work for her, to honor, support, and maintain her in
truth, to provide food, clothing, and necessities, and to live
together with her as husband and wife. This contract was the
unalienable right of the bride. It must be executed and signed prior
to the wedding ceremony. The Bible is the believers contract. All
the promises that God provided for the believers in Christ are
legally ours. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
5. The bride must give her
The personal application to those who desire the
Lord to come into their hearts and lives is to accept his invitation
to do so by faith. As His bride, we are saying 'I do".
Gifts were given to the bride and a cup called the cup of the
covenant was shared between the bride and the groom.
of the betrothal is completed when the groom gives something of
value to the bride and she accepts it. Today, the gift that is given
is usually a ring. When the groom places the ring on the bride's
finger, the rite of betrothal is completed. This completed rite is
known in Hebrew as kiddushin, which means "sanctification." The
gifts to the bride are symbols of love, commitment, and loyalty. The
gift God gives to those who accept Jesus is the Holy Spirit. When
Jesus ascended to Heaven, He gave us gifts, including righteousness,
eternal life, grace, faith, and other spiritual gifts. In addition,
at this time the cup of the covenant was shared and sealed between
the bride and the groom with the drinking of wine. In doing so, the
couple drinks from a common cup. The cup is first given to the groom
to sip, and then is given to the bride. This cup, known as the cup
of the covenant, is spoken of in Jer 31:31-33, and in Luke 20,
7. The bride had a water immersion, which is a ritual of
This indicates a separation from a former way to a
new way of life. In the case of marriage, it indicates leaving an
old life for a new life with your spouse. Jesus said, in John 3:1-7,
that we must be born anew to enter into the Kingdom of God.
Believers are to be immersed in the name of Jesus. The Holy Spirit
is the immerser of God. (Luke3: 16, Acts 1:5, 11:15-16)
The bridegroom departed, going back to his father's house to prepare
the bridal chamber.
[John 14:2] 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.
At this point, the bridegroom leaves for his
father's house to prepare the bridal chamber for his bride. It was
understood to be the man's duty to go away to be with his father,
build a house, and prepare for the eventual wedding. Before he goes,
though, he will make a statement to the bride, "I go to prepare a
place for you; if I go, I will return again unto you."
bride was consecrated and set apart for a period of time while the
bridegroom was away building the house.
[Rev 21:2] And I John
saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of
heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
the bridegroom could go and get the bride, the groom's father had to
be satisfied that the son had made every preparation.
24:36] But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels
of heaven, but my Father only.
Only then could he give
permission to the son to go and get the bride. In other words, while
the bridegroom was working on the bridal chamber, it was the father
who "okayed" the final bridal chamber.
10. The bridegroom did
not know when his father would declare the bridal chamber fit and
send him to go get his bride. Note the parallels:
13:32] "But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the
angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. [Mark 13:33]
Take heed, watch; for you do not know when the time will come. [Mark
13:34] It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and
puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the
doorkeeper to be on the watch. [Mark 13:35] Watch therefore--for you
do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening,
or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning-- [Mark 13:36]
lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. [Mark 13:37] And what I
say to you I say to all: Watch."
Meanwhile, the bride was to
wait eagerly for the return of the bridegroom. In the mind of the
bride, the bridegroom could come at any time, even in the middle of
the night or at midnight. Therefore, she had to be ready at all
times. Jesus referred to this in the same verses in Mark above, and
in Mat 25:1-13.
11. The bridegroom would return with a shout,
"Behold, the bridegroom comes" and the sound of the ram's horn would
The time of the return of the bridegroom was
usually at midnight. When the bridegroom did come, he came with a
shout (Mat 25:6) and with the blowing of a trumpet (1Thess 4:16-17;
Rev 4:1). The marriage between the bride and the groom would take
place under a wedding canopy. Since Heaven is a type of canopy, we
can see that when Jesus gives a shout for His bride, accompanied by
the blowing of a trumpet, the marriage between Christ and his bride
will take place in Heaven. The marriage ceremony will have a sacred
procession. For this reason, the bridegroom (Jesus) will be led to
the canopy first. When the bridegroom approaches the canopy, the
cantor chants, "Blessed is he who comes." This expression means
"welcome." Jesus said that He would not return for His bride until
these words were said. The groom is greeted like a king under the
canopy. During this time Jesus, the bridegroom, will be crowned King
under the canopy, which is Heaven.
The bride and groom will
go to the wedding chamber, where the marriage will be consummated.
They will stay in that wedding chamber for seven days, or a week. At
the end of the seven days, the bride and groom will come out from
the wedding chamber. This can be seen in Joel 2:16. The word week in
Hebrew is shavuah. It means a "seven". It can mean seven days or
seven years. An example of the Hebrew word shavuah for week meaning
seven years can be found in Dan 9:24,27. From this we can see that
the believers (bride) in the Messiah (bridegroom) will be with the
Messiah in Heaven for His wedding while the earth will be
experiencing the seven-year tribulation period. Also in the biblical
wedding service that God gave, after you are married, you have a
The honeymoon lasts a week, having the same
meaning as the above.... Seven-days or seven-years. So this also can
refer to Heaven where the previously raptured believers have been
enjoying a seven-year honeymoon with the Lord while the earth is
experiencing first a false peace and then great
12. Finally, there would be a marriage supper
for all the guests invited by the father of the bride.
bride and the groom would be in the wedding chamber for seven days.
When the bride and the groom initially went into the wedding
chamber, the friend of the bridegroom stood outside the door. All
the assembled guests of the wedding gathered outside, waiting for
the friend of the bridegroom to announce the consummation of the
marriage, which was relayed to him by the groom. John referred to
this in John 3:29. At this signal, great rejoicing broke forth. The
marriage was consummated on the first night. The bloodstained linen
from this night was preserved. It was proof of the bride's
virginity. (Deut 22:13-21) On the wedding day, the bridegroom is
seen as a king and the bride as a queen. During the consummation of
the marriage, the bridegroom (Jesus) will be crowned King over all
the earth and the bride (believers in Christ) will live with Him and
rule with Him forever.
Jesus will be returning with His bride
and we will rule and reign with Him physically during the Millennium