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The Institution of Marriage

It is a serious and wonderful thing.the institution of marriage.  GOD has ordained marriage from the beginning.  The institution of marriage is important to us and it is very important to Him. 

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.  And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.  Genesis 2:21-23

God made Adam and Eve one flesh as soon as Eve was created.  To create the first marriage on earth GOD caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam. In the scriptures sleep is synonymous with death.  In other words sleep is a picture of death.  During Adam's sleep a rib was taken from his side.  From this rib his wife, Eve, was fashioned.  To get this rib Adam's blood had to be shed.  Adams flesh was opened, blood was shed, a rib was taken, Eve was made, and GOD Himself closed the wound in Adam's side.  This first marriage is a picture of Jesus the Messiah and His marriage to His bride the church.

Jesus died at Calvary (he slept).  After his death a centurion pierced the side of Jesus with a spear.

But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they broke not his legs; but one of the soldiers, with a spear, pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.  John 19:33-34

With this spear Jesus' blood was shed.  Adam was wounded in the side.  Jesus was wounded in the side.  From the blood shed by Adam his bride, Eve, was created.  From the blood shed by Jesus, His bride, the church, was birthed. 

Do the events of the birth of Eve and the birth of the church allegorically overlay each other by coincidence, or did GOD intend for one to be a picture of the other?  Was the marriage of Adam and Eve somehow prophetic for the future marriage of Jesus and His church?  During the time that Jesus was on earth, what were the marriage customs that were practiced by the people of Israel?  Could any of customs practiced in those times have any bearing on our marriage to Jesus as his bride, the church?

The marriage customs of Jesus' day were different than are generally experienced in the United States today.  Most are familiar with American customs regarding marriage, but many know nothing about the customs practiced during the lifetime of Jesus.  Some of these customs just may have something to do with us, and our relationship to Jesus, our bridegroom.

The first thing to be done in accomplishing a marriage, during the lifetime of Jesus, would be the selection of the bride.  Unlike our culture, the bridegroom's father chose the bride for the bridegroom.  The father would send a trusted servant as his agent to search out a bride.

A perfect example in scripture of this arrangement is seen, in scripture, in Genesis 24.  Abraham (a picture of GOD the Father) secures a bride for Isaac (a picture of Jesus) by sending a trusted servant Eliezer (a picture of the Holy Spirit) to find a bride.  Interestingly, the bride that was found, Rebekah, agrees to wed Isaac without even seeing him.  GOD Almighty searches us out for His Son Jesus through His trusted agent, the Holy Spirit.  We agree to Jesus. without seeing him face to face, just as Rebekah did so many years ago.

After the selection of the bride a bride price was established.  The bride was important to the bridegroom, so the price would be high.  Our bridegroom paid a high price for us, his bride, as well.  His price was His life.

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 1 Corinthains 6:20

The scripture above is familiar, but usually not associated with marriage.  The meaning is expanded somewhat by considering the customs of the day in which the verse was written.

Next, the Bride and groom are betrothed to each other. Betrothal legally bound the bride and groom together, but they did not physically live together.  When you accept Jesus as your Lord and savior you are betrothed to Him, but you do not now physically live with Him either.    

After the betrothal a written document was drawn up. A ketubah was drawn up as the marriage contract stating the bride price, promises of the groom, and the rights of the bride.  This contract was basically a description of the unalienable rights of the bride.  The contract must be executed and signed before the wedding.  Our Ketubah is the Bible.  The Bible is about Jesus.  The bride price Jesus, our bridegroom, paid on the cross is central to the document.  His promises are many and are more than aptly described.  His covenant with us describing our unalienable rights is described both simply and completely.

Then as now, a bride must give her consent.  A bride spoke her public consent.  A verbal confession of our faith saves us from hell's fires.

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  Romans 10:8-10

The scripture above takes on a more extraordinary meaning when considering marriage customs in place when it was written.

In those days the bridegroom gave gifts to the bride. Gifts of this type are symbols of love, commitment and loyalty.  Even today gifts are give by the bridegroom, with rings probably being the most common.  The gift God gives those who accept Jesus is the Holy Spirit. 

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.  Ephesians 1:13

When Jesus ascended to heaven He gave gifts to us, his bride-to-be, including.


For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. Romans 5:17-18

Eternal life;

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 6:23


Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.  Romans 5:12, 14-15


For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

In First Corinthians other gifts to us are described as well.  These gifts include things like wisdom, knowledge, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits, interpretation of tongues, and the gift of tongues, along with gifts of helps and administration.

A betrothed bride in the days of Jesus had a water immersion or ritual cleansing to indicate a separation of a former way of life and to a new life beginning with the groom.  Our water baptism is the allegorical application for our lives.  At our baptism we die to self and are raised in a new life with our groom Jesus.

In the customs of the day the groom had some work to do before the marriage ceremony could commence.  A separation was in order.  The groom left the bride and returned to his father's house to prepare the bridal chamber.  Before the groom left the bride to construct a house, he would say these words to the bride he deeply loved. "I go to prepare a place for you; If I go, I will return aqain to you ".

Jesus used the same exact words, as he was about to leave to return to His Father and prepare a place for us, prior to His return.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 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 unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3

As was customary, the bride was then set apart for a period of time while the groom built the house.  Before the groom could go and retrieve the bride, the grooms father had to be satisfied that every preparation was complete.  Only then would the son have permission to go and get the bride.  The groom would not know when his father would declare the bridal chamber fit.  Only the bridegroom's father knew the day and the hour of the return of the groom to claim his bride.

Jesus explained that he would return for us as well. 

But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.  Mark 13:32-37

When the father of bridegroom gave his consent, the bridegroom would return with a shout and the sound of a shofar.  The words, "behold the bridegroom comes" were actually uttered.  The bridegroom came, many times at midnight carrying away the bride like a "thief in the night".  The wedding ceremony would then occur under a chupah.  A chupah was a canopy under which the wedding ceremony would be solemnized.  As the couple made their way to the chupah, the bridegroom would come near the canopy first.  As the bridegroom approached a cantor would proclaim the words "blessed is he who comes". 

When Jesus comes for us at the rapture, as a thief in the night, we will go with him to heaven.  Heaven is a type of a chupah. 

Jesus had some interesting words to say as he overlooked Jerusalem just prior to His crucifixion.

For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.  Matthew 23:39

Blessed is He who comes!

After the marriage ceremony the bridegroom took the bride to bridal chamber for one week or seven days.  We will be with Jesus for seven years, or one week of years, while the tribulation rages.

As a final conclusion to the wedding process the father of the groom provided a marriage supper, for the bridegroom and the bride.  The father of the groom invited the guests. As we enter to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb as the bride of Christ, God the Father will invite those who have been saved during the tribulation to the wedding feast.

And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. Revelation 19:7

Currently, we the Bride of Christ have been selected for Him.  Jesus has paid the bride price in full.  We have been saved and thus betrothed to Him.  Our Ketubah (the Bible) tells the entire world the deal Jesus has made with us.  We place our trust in His promises.  We have consented to be his bride.  The whole world our love.  We have died to ourselves and come alive to Jesus.  As we wait, watch and pray, Jesus is in heaven building mansions for us.  He is in deeply in love with us and is eagerly awaiting the permission of His Father to come for us.  Any day now he will come as a thief in the night.

Not all will be called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  Not all will be the Bride of Christ.  Would it not be prudent to ensure your place at the part of the bride? 

We know he is soon coming for us.  He told us he was preparing a place for us and he was coming back.  We don't know the exact day or hour but we know it is soon, by what we see around us.  We know he loves us.

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

It is a serious and wonderful thing.the institution of marriage.

Be blessed and meditate or meditate and be blessed, the choice is yours!
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