A number of years ago, I was asked to speak at a Retreat and the theme was “Preparing the Bride”. Below is part of the message I shared. It came back to my heart recently and I feel that it’s a current word for us. This is the final part of the message.
To recap, I have been discussing the Lord’s pursuit, provision and passion for His bride as seen in the Jewish wedding ceremony. Now why is that important for us to know? How does this understanding play a role in preparing ourselves as the Bride of Christ?
Let me unpack that this way: If we are not completely convinced about the pursuit, the provision and the passion of God for us, we will never have the faith to stand up in our authority in the heavenly places. Our identity needs to be settled now if we are to walk out the destiny that God has purchased for us. But what I’ve seen and experienced is that we’ve had it all backwards. We’ve had the mindset that we are pursuing God, trying to convince Him that we’re worthy of His love – even though we don’t usually feel like we are. Then when we blow it, as we are bound to do, we run and hide from the Lord. But we need to realize that He’s been pursuing us all this time. His passion for you came before you. Before you drew a breath, He decided to provide for you and pursue you until your heart was won over.
If we are not completely convinced regarding the amazing depths or love and provision that Jesus has given to us, we will question Him every time hardship comes, every time we can’t see the end from the beginning and every time we screw up. We will vacillate between faith and fear depending on every wind that blows in our lives. Like the bride of old, we can’t see our Groom; so we must be solidly convinced that He loves us with an unshakable love that He has provided for us even when we have done nothing deserving of such goodness.
To wrap up these thoughts on the Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony and how it pertains to us as the Bride of Christ, I want to tell you about a video I saw. As I was researching this beautiful ceremony, I just had to see one! I’m very visual. One Kiddushin ceremony that I found really hit me in the gut. When the video was over, I watched it again and again and wrote down the words of the Rabbi word for word. The video is no longer accessible on YouTube, so I’m really glad I recorded what he said!
Here is the “transcript” from a portion of the Video with my commentary inserted along the way:
The Rabbi is holding up two pieces of paper and says to the congregation, “I have in my hands two Ketuvah’s. One is beautifully decorated for the couple to hang in their home. The other is written in Aramaic and is the document signed by the groom.”
Then he turns to the bride and says, “Rick (the groom) and I have had the Ketuvah Ceremony, just so you know.”
You see the bride is not allowed to witness the Ketuvah signing. Only two males can be witnesses. Therefore, the rabbi is letting the bride know that this ceremony happened.
Rabbi: “You do not have to anything. You do not have to say yes or no. He is already married to you.”
Do you hear that truth? Before you could do anything right or wrong, before you could be good enough, before you took the right path or the wrong path, before you said ‘Yes’, Jesus committed Himself to you. Jesus has signed His Ketuvah in His own blood and He has already married you!
Rabbi: “He has agreed to take care of everything emotionally, spiritually, financially. He is obligated even if you leave. He has signed on the dotted line. You have not. As the bride, your only duty is to take upon yourself all that is incumbent of a loving bride. Are you OK with that?”
I would like to ask you, “Are YOU okay with that? That’s kind of a hard pill to swallow. But the truth is, what can we possibly bring to the Lord that could add anything to the riches that He has already poured out for us? Jesus has done it all! He is carrying the weight of it all. He will carry you emotionally, spiritually and financially. He will carry your family. All that He asks for is our love and devotion in return.
If you own a Bible, I encourage you to look at it with fresh eyes, looking for the promises. The Bible is the Ketuvah of the Lord Jesus Christ to you. His passion for you drove his choices. As the groom, he had made all of the promises and he is doing all the work. As the Bride, our job is to prepare our hearts, keeping ourselves for Him and no one else. We are to trust His Word to us. We do this by coming regularly into the Secret Place, behind closed doors with our Beloved in prayer, worship and studying the Word.
We do not make ourselves. He is making us. We do not make our destiny or provide for ourselves. He is providing for us and He will keep us safe until His return.
- Do you need to have the passion of your first love rekindled?
- Do you want to have a renewed zeal for and trust in Word of God, the Lord’s Ketuvah to you?
- Do you need to have your identity as the pursued bride of Christ solidified in your heart?
Dearest Lord Jesus, what can we say for all that You have done for us? It’s hard for us to grasp the depth of a love that would see our faults yet choose to cover our shame and nakedness with Glory. You gave Your precious life to bring us into your family and You have provided everything we need for life and godliness. You have shown us how to love. Help us to keep our hearts in faithfulness and love for You until we see You face-to-face. On that day, every hardship of this life will melt away in the beauty of Your eternal love. You are the Glorious Bridegroom and You will have Your Bride. You laid down Your life for Your bride, so let the response of our hearts be in like manner to the sacrifice You made for us!