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Archive for July, 2003

When Jesus Proposed Marriage

02 Jul

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When Jesus Proposed Marriage

  • Scripture: 1 Corinthians 11:23–28
  • Hymns: 350: “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”321: “My Jesus, I Love Thee”
      1. Introduction:

    Open your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 11:23

    Most of us have participated in this ceremony.

    We understand the Symbolism of Body and Blood of Jesus

    But God uses symbols that have great meaning far beyond our initial examination.

    Today we are going to focus on the Cup and dig a little deeper so we can understand it more.

    1 Corinthians 11:23-29

    Why is it that it is so important that we drink this cup in a worthy manner? And what is a worthy manner? What are you saying when you drink this cup?

    This story is mentioned in five books of the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and 1 Corinthians.

    Each mentions different details. So to get the full picture we look in each of these accounts.

    Here’s the basic sequence.

    1. They ate the Passover supper
    2. Jesus washed the disciple’s feet
    3. Jesus blessed and passed the bread
    4. Jesus blessed and passed the cup
    5. Jesus Revealed that Judas would betray Him
    6. Jesus predicted what would happen that night
    7. Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for us in heaven.
    8. Jesus shared His last words.
    9. They sang a hymn and went out.
    10. Went to Garden of Gethsemane

    Tuck that sequence into the back of your mind and you’ll probably get my point before I say it.

    In order to understand this ceremony of drinking the cup better I’d like to share with you what an ancient Jewish marriage ceremony took place.

    The Bible likens His church or His faithful people to Jesus’ Bride.

    Romans 7:4 NKJV

    CF 2 Corinthians 11:2Revelation 19:7

    When a young Man came to marriageable age the Father of the young man would select a bride for his son. Often times the son had some say in the selection but the father had the final say. The bride was not in on this selection process.

    Once the bride-to-be was selected and the Father of the man and the father of the Girl had made proper arrangements then the Young man would travel to the young woman’s house and negotiate with the girl’s father and/or brothers.

    The groom was to bring 4 things:

    1. Betrothal covenant
    2. Bride Price
    3. A skin of wine
    4. Gifts for the Bride

    The Betrothal Covenant

    • stated his intentions toward the bride,
    • his promises to her father concerning her,
    • his ability to care for and keep her,
    • and the price he was willing to pay for the honor of her hand in marriage.
    • It also served the purpose of showing the father of the potential bride how much, or little, the prospective groom understood about the responsibility of taking on a wife.

    The young man would have worked long and hard on this covenant, insuring that he had thought long and hard about these responsibilities.

    The Bride Price was no modest token.

    With the bride price the young man was to buy the girl from her family. Once the price was agreed upon and paid she belonged to him.

    • Often the equivalent of a year’s wages
    • Showed his love and willingness to sacrifice on behalf of his chosen one.

    The negotiations would often days or even months.

    Only After the Girl’s father was satisfied with the bride price and the covenant was the young man aloud to see his bride-to-be.

    ***

    Just as the Groom and the father of the groom chose the bride the Bible says, In John 15:16a “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…”

    Just as when the bride had been purchased she belonged to her betrothed husband, so we belong to Jesus.

    1 Corinthians 6:19,2019Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body[1] and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

    The Bride price with which He has purchased us is much greater than a year’s wages.

    Acts 20:28 “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God[1] which He purchased with His own blood.”

    And the covenant that Jesus has made can be found in Jeremiah 31:33 And Hebrews 8:8-13

    Now let’s go back to the historical tradition.

    Once the Bride price and the betrothal Covenant were approved the young man would go in to the girl, open his skin of wine, grape juice, pour a glass of juice, and after taking a sip, offer it to her. This was His proposal. This was his way of asking, “Will you marry me?” (Convenient for men who don’t like to talk about such things) This was the moment of truth. If she accepted the cup and drank from it, it meant, “Yes, I will be your wife. I will consent to becoming yours. My life from now on will be devoted to you.” She was to drink all of it even the dregs symbolizing that she was willing to take the bitter with the sweet.

    Turn with me please to Matthew 26:27-29

    Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28This is my blood of the[1] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.” ’

    When we celebrate the communion service and we take the cup, not only are we remembering the price Jesus paid for our redemptionbut we also are saying, “Yes, I will be your faithful Bride. My life from now on will be devoted to you. I accept your proposal.

    But the ceremony didn’t end here for the Bride and groom and it doesn’t end here for us either.

    After she accepted he would give here his gifts then, before leaving he would make a promise. “I am going to my father’s house to prepare a place for you. And if I go I will return again to you.”

    Jesus made the same promise to us before He went back to His Father.

    John 14:1-3 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God[1] ; trust also in me. 2In 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. 3And 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.”

    When the young man left his bride’s father’s house he would not see her again until he had built a new room onto His Father’s house for them to inhabit.

    During this time no one knew when the wedding would take place, only the groom’s father.

    Does that remind you of Jesus said regarding His coming, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[1] but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36

    During this time the bride kept constantly ready. She made sure everything was in readiness at a moment’s notice for the wedding. For she didn’t know when the time would come.

    Finally when the father was satisfied that all the preparations were properly made he would give the go-ahead. The Wedding procession usually took place in the middle of the night.

    The best man would blow the shofar or ram’s horn and shout his announcement, “Behold the bridegroom comes” and the bridegroom would lead the procession to the bride’s father’s house where she would be ready to meet him. He didn’t even have to go inside.

    When they arrived at the groom’s house they would enter the bridal canopy and, in privet before a rabbi, exchange their vows. After which the Couple would enter the room that the groom had prepared for seven days. Then they would join their guests at the feast.

    ***

    Right now we are in the waiting period. Jesus is preparing a place for us in heaven. The way He prepares a place is by preparing us.

    We should be focusing on being ready to meet our bridegroom, Jesus. Are we ready? Are our garments ready?

    One day soon The Father will say, “ok son, it’s time.”

    And 1 Thessalonians 4:1617

    16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

    He will come again and receive his bride to Himself.

    Revelation 19:6-9.

    6Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) 9Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”"

    Will we be pure and clean and ready?

    Are we preparing our fine linen wedding garments?

    Next Steps:

    1. When the cup is passed to you in a few minutes, think about the meaning of the commitment you’re making or renewing.
    2. Prepare your “bridal garments.” According to Revelation 19:8, they are “the righteous acts of the saints.”
    3. Share this story with someone else and invite them to be part of the wedding celebration.

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    Key Passage: 1 Corinthians 11:23-28

     
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