Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Marriage of the Lamb!

In my last post, I wrote about the similarities between a Hebrew betrothal and the covenant that was made between Yeshua and His bride, and I noted that we are in the betrothal period right now as we await the joyous arrival of our Groom.

Before I move on, there is one point that I want to add to my last post on betrothal.  In the ancient Hebrew betrothal covenant, a cup of wine was shared by the groom and the bride to seal the covenant.  Yeshua sealed this covenant with us, His bride, when He drank of the cup of wine with His disciples the night before He died, at their Passover celebration.  At the actual marriage ceremony, a second cup of wine would be shared by the Hebrew bride and groom.  Note the words of Yeshua in Matthew 26:29:  But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.

We are now in a very exciting time to be alive!  We know that the sign of Israel being a nation again is the key to the return of the Messiah.  Yeshua will soon be fulfilling the Fall Feasts, just as He perfectly fulfilled the Spring Feasts with His first earthly visitation.   As the betrothed bride of the Messiah, we are now in the time of sanctification; that is, preparing ourselves to become His bride. Sanctification is the process of becoming holy day by day - getting ready for the Big Day!

A bride in ancient Israel had no idea what day or hour her bridegroom would return for her.  The groom himself didn't even know - his father would be the one to decide when all was ready for the wedding.  Sound familiar?  It should!   But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.  Matthew 24:36

Jewish bridegrooms usually came for their brides late at night, near the midnight hour.  Shofars would break the silence of night.  There would be shouts in the streets, and a torch-light procession would wind its way through the town to the home of the bride.  Similarly, Yeshua will fulfill the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) when He returns for His bride.

The Parable of the Ten Virgins gives us a sobering illustration in Matthew 25.  Five of the virgins were prepared and ready. The other five did not allow themselves to become sanctified and holy; therefore, they were not prepared when the bridegroom showed up. They had no oil for their lamps, meaning that they did not have the Holy Spirit, who is symbolized by oil.  Sadly, they were shut out from the Wedding of the Lamb, for He did not know them.

The Hebrew marriage ceremony would take place under a chuppah, which means room or covering.  The marriage of the Lamb is fulfilled at the Feast of Tabernacles, the feast during which people build temporary booths or shelters, symbolizing the chuppah.  Tabernacles is the autumn feast that is seven days long, just like the ancient Hebrew wedding.  Remember how Jacob had to fulfill his week with Leah before he could have Rachel in Genesis 29?

The cup of wine is shared by bride and groom to seal the marriage covenant forever.  Since ancient times, the glass would then be broken to symbolize that they would never be the same again.  The marriage feast would have been an extremely joyous occasion, just as the Feast of Tabernacles is the most joy-filled of the seven biblical feasts.  I don't think that it is coincidental that the first recorded miracle of Yeshua was at the wedding celebration at Cana - involving wine, which represents joy.

The time period that follows the wedding feast of the Lamb is found in Revelation 20 - the one thousand year reign.  I've been pondering this, and I have come to the conclusion that this represents the honeymoon period.  Why?  Look at this little tiny requirement in Deuteronomy 24:5 -  When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year, and bring happiness to his wife whom he has taken.  In Hebrew, one year can have the same numeric meaning as one millenium. 

There will be a brief war at the end of the millenium - of course, Yeshua wins - and then in Revelation 21, we see that the glorious New Jerusalem will come down from the heavens and be joined together with the regenerated earth.  The Bridegroom will present his bride with her new permanent home, where He will forever dwell with her in love, joy, and peace.

Look at the words of Isaiah in chapter 62, verse 5:  And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,  so shall your God rejoice over you.    

Isn't this just a fantastic picture that leaves you breathless with anticipation?

Next year during the Feast of Tabernacles, I'd love to build a chuppah in my yard and host a marriage vow renewal ceremony.  Anybody interested?   Of course, I'd settle for a trip to Jerusalem instead.

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