The marriage contract is integral to our personal relationship with the Lord as Isaiah chapter 54 verse 5 says"For your husband is your Maker, whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth."
God by His grace called out a man named Abram from among his people, and said to him, Abram if you will follow me, I will make of you a great nation! God had chosen His bride.
The Ketubah is discussed at length in my Part 1.
Rabbi HyamShafner writing about the marriage contract said: "The traditional ketubah is essentially an agreement between the bride and groom outlining, for the most part, the groom's obligations within the marriage. Since the ketubah is an agreement between bride and groom, both must agree to the terms. This is especially true for the groom since he is obligating himself to most of the terms within the ketubah."
The Bible is our Ketubah!!! (See ketubah details in Bride Part 1)
What do the scriptures mean when they refer to the Church as the "Bride of Christ"? Why do the scriptures call Christ the "Bridegroom"? And what promise does the Holy Communion hold for us as the Bride?
The disciples understood what Jesus was saying at the Last Supper because they understood the Model for the Traditional Jewish Wedding.
For us to fully understand Christ's promise today, and the promise of the New Covenant, it helps to understand what the scriptures are saying. To do this, it helps to consider the Traditional Jewish Marriage Practices observed in Christ's time on earth.
Within that tradition we have learned of the Ketubah – the marriage contract. The man must leave his father's home and go to the home of his chosen to offer the ketubah.
The Bride Price
In those negotiations 'the bride price- known as the Mohar is finalised. Jesus/Yeshua fulfilled those details to the letter. He left His home in heaven and came to earth to offer us the Ketubah and to provide the Bride Price through His death on the cross. He came to fulfill the law. He fulfilled the marriage contract – in every detail.
1 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 20 it reads - "For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body."
1 Peter chapter 1 verses 18, 19 it reads – "Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"
What higher price could one pay? How valuable are we to our groom? What more could have been paid than His life?
In Jewish marriage tradition, the man pours a glass of wine and gives it to the woman. If she accepts his contract, she drinks from the cup which seals the contract making it complete and legally binding.
Although there was no consummation or physical union between the two yet, they were regarded as husband and wife from this moment on. She is considered to be "consecrated", "set apart", or sanctified, exclusively unto the husband.
The Bride has
Consider your response to this truth!
Matthew chapter 1 verses 18, 19 reads – "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.
We see clearly in Matthew that no physical union had taken place between Joseph and Mary, yet scripture refers to Joseph as "Her husband".
Jesus came to the bride's home, leaving His fathers home. He set the bride price with His blood, and to seal the contract in order to set us, the Church, the Bride, apart, sanctifying us, He poured the wine, and we drank, accepting His contract.
So what new meaning is found in these familiar words?
Matthew chapter 26 verses 27, 28– "And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.
This is the New Testament. This is the New Covenant.
We drank the wine accepting His contract, His bride price paid for us. And we now belong to Him. We are set apart, sanctified. Exclusively Christ's own! Not when we die, NOW. We are His 'right now'! We belong to Him right now!
Now the Period of Separation!
After the covenant or contract had been established, the groom will return to his father's house to prepare a place for His new bride. He has gone to prepare a bridal chamber in his father's house where the bride and groom can be together.
John chapter 14 verses 1-3 it reads –"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
Neither the bride nor groom knew WHEN the groom would return. The bridal chamber he was preparing had to be approved of by his father.
The bride eagerly watches for her husbands return. She keeps the oil in her lamp full in case he arrives at night. She is watching and longing, while preparing herself for her future with him.
During this period of time apart from the bride, the groom is preparing his place. This will be the marriage mansion, built for us in His Father's house! This place is heavenly. It is built to the Father's specifications. The groom can only come for His bride when the Father has given His final approval that the bridal chamber is ready.
What joy this truth conveys! How wonderful He is and how blessed is His bride?
Ron Ross is a Middle East consultant for United Christian Broadcasters (Vision FM). Previously he was radio news editor for Bridges for Peace in Jerusalem, Israel.
His career started at WINTV (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ron Ross previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/ron-ross.html