Within the Word of God is the pattern of the Church as the Bride of Christ being wed to Jesus, and the pattern is preserved to this day in the practice of the traditional Jewish Wedding. This is not to say that the Church has replaced Israel in the Lord’s plan; quite the opposite. Please see Romans 11:11-18, and 11:25-26. Elements of the Jewish wedding are found in the entire Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament.
The steps of the traditional Jewish wedding:
1 – Selection of the Bride
Jewish Wedding - The Son chooses the Bride – the Father makes the arrangements
Church - John 15:16 – “You did not choose Me, but I chose you . . .”
2 – The Bride Price established
Jewish Wedding - The father of the bride must be reimbursed for the loss of his daughter.
Church - I Corinthians 6:20 - “For you were bought with a price.” The Bride price was paid when Jesus died on the Cross.
3 – The Betrothal
Jewish Wedding - More than mere “engagement”, it was a permanent arrangement. Recall the story of Joseph and Mary.
Church – The attachment of the Church to the Lord is also permanent, and forever. “ He that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.” (John 6:58) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:28)
4 – The Marriage Contract
Jewish Wedding – A written agreement committing each party to the marriage.
Church - The entire Holy Bible is our written agreement containing the promises of God.
5 – The Bride must consent
Jewish Wedding – This is not entirely an arranged marriage; the bride must agree.
Church – From the beginning in the Garden of Eden, the Lord allows us to decide, to make choices. He gave Adam and Eve the choice of any tree except one. They made the decision. The Lord allows us to consent whether or not we follow and believe in Him.
6 – The Bridal Gift and the Cup of the Covenant
Jewish Wedding – A glass of wine is taken upon the signing of the contract.
Church – Each time we gather around the Lord’s Table, we remember the “contract.” “And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament (covenant), which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:27-28)
Jewish Wedding – The Bride is given a gift by the groom.
Church - The gift of the Holy Spirit is given by Jesus –– “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38) This, of course, occurred on the Day of Pentecost.
There are more parallels which will be presented in the next lesson. Always praise the Lord for His wonderful plan and for including us in His plan.