*This was a devotional read at one of Brees wedding showers. It had a great impact on those of us that heard it at that time. Now, having experienced both a wedding and funeral of such magnitude and so close together; these truths have been magnified in such a big way that it reinforces even deeper our hope and the reality of ETERNAL LIFE with Jesus, our Bridegroom and Savior.
Our Bridegroom has gone away, but He will be back. The disciple John explains that this time of separation is also a time of preparation: 1 John 3 says, What we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope in Him, purifies himself.
The Jewish wedding ceremony took place in 3 parts. Each part is symbolic of a much greater wedding. It began with the Betrothal which was preceded by intense bargaining between the father of the bride and the father of the groom. The Bride Price was very steep. The price was comparable to what would be the price of a new house today. Then, when the bride was paid, there was a ceremony in which the couple was betrothed. The price Jesus paid for us was also very steep. It was not silver or gold, but His own precious blood. If we have put our trust in that blood, there is a ring on our finger. We are betrothed. In the days of Jesus, this part of the ceremony symbolized a permanent commitment. It is the same with our relationship with Jesus.
Next, the groom went away in order to add a room to his fathers house. It usually took about a year, but the actual time was determined by the father. It was when the father said that things were ready when the groom would surprise his bride and bring her back with a great processional. In John 14 Jesus said, In my Fathers 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 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.
During this time of separation, the bride would prepare her gown. It involved much time and patience and had much intricate detail. As we anticipate our GREAT WEDDING DAY we, as Christians are preparing our wedding gown. Rather than fine linen, our wedding gown is the purity of our character. Our character is developed as we clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone who has the hope of Jesus returning is in this process of sanctification. We are a work in progress. We eagerly anticipate what we will become.
John says in Revelation 19:7-8, For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean was given her to wear. We, as we live on this earth, are getting ready to become His Bride. Jesus has gone away to prepare a place for us and He will be back. It will be a great Psalm and wondrous procession. Psalm 45:13-14 says, All glorious is the princess within her chamber. Her gown is interwoven with gold; in embroidered garments she is led to the King.
There is so much symbolism here. The words used are significant. The fires of life will refine and purify our character in a magnificent gold if we allow God to use them as He desires. When someone embroiders they enhance, magnify and add color to their garment. This is a picture of what we do to our wedding gown when we submit to the Lord. All glorious are Krista, Nikki and Jessica within their chamber!
(A suggestion of the author to paraphrase this psalm with your own name>) The character of God is interwoven throughout their character; being clothed in the many splendord colors of His, they were led to Jesus!
The final part of the Jewish marriage was the actual wedding and feast. Oh what rejoicing their will be in heaven at our wedding banquet! We will be with Him, our Bridegroom for all eternity. So, in this period when He is preparing a place for us, God also yearns to sanctify and make us holy. Let us abandon ourselves to Him our ETERNAL BRIDEGROOM!
is een prachtige tuin
waar het heerlijk vertoeven is,
en welriekende bloemen
en het betoverende gezang
van vrolijke vogels.