The Bride of Christ

8.29.23 Devo Image

“That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”—Ephesians 5:27 (NKJV)

Our modern view of marriage can somewhat leave us clueless to the magnificent portrait of grace the Lord paints with His invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Today, we’ll unpack ancient Israel’s wedding customs and discover what it truly means to be the bride of Christ.

There are several wedding customs we’ll explore: 

Arrangement (Shiddukhin): The custom was for the father of the groom to make all the arrangements. The father carefully selects a bride for his son. Amazingly, God the Father chooses us to be the bride of Christ.

Betrothal (Kiddushin): The bride-to-be was required to approve of the marriage before the families agreed to the betrothal, just like our free will choice to accept Jesus as our groom. There’s an agreed upon payment price for the bride called the mohar. Jesus pays the highest price and sheds His own blood for us. The groom gives a gift to his bride called the mattan. We’ve been given the Holy Spirit as our mattan. The bride and groom were to be ritually cleansed before the betrothal agreement was sealed by sharing a cup of wine. Our baptism models our cleansing and communion wine displays the sealing of our covenant with the Lord. 

Preparation Time Between the Betrothal and the Wedding: The bride and groom part ways for an extended time, sometimes a year or more. The groom remains at his father’s house and prepares a place for his wife. Jesus is preparing a place for us in His father’s house, and He will come again (His second coming) to bring us home (John 14:1–4). 

Consecration (Mekudeshet): The bride is to consecrate herself. She is to examine her life and make any changes to be ready for their holy covenant. As we set ourselves apart for Jesus, He sanctifies us (Ephesians 5:27).

Preparation: The bride prepares her wedding garments. Beautiful wedding attire is a way to honor her groom. Today, we adorn ourselves in the righteousness of Jesus. The great exchange at the cross provides His perfection for our sins. Christ gives us the garment of salvation and a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10).

Wedding Day: The day of the wedding feast was a surprise to both the bride and groom. If you asked the groom, “When’s the wedding?” He may reply, “No man knows except the Father.” Jesus says this about His second coming (Matthew 24:36). The bride eagerly awaits her beloved. Her groom could arrive anytime day or night to pick her up (1 Thessalonians 4:16–18). Due to Jesus’ imminent return, the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1–13) is given as a warning to the church to be ready and waiting for the Lord. Five virgins were ready with their lamps filled with oil. They represent the true believers filled with the Holy Spirit. The other five are unprepared with empty lamps, representing the false believers. They were unable to enter the door to the wedding. In John 10:7, Jesus calls Himself the door. 

Wedding Ceremony and Feast (Nissuin): This is a glorious seven-day celebration, which differs from modern weddings that focus mostly on the bride. Their weddings honored the groom. He was showered with songs of praise and poems: “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory.” This is how it’ll be at the marriage supper of the Lamb. The focus will be on Jesus, not us. What a grand celebration this will be!

Pause: Read Revelation 19:7–9 and 2 Corinthians 11:2. Are you ready for your bridegroom? Do you eagerly await His second coming?

Practice: Understanding biblical customs are often the missing piece to discovering the rich depth of Scriptures. Pick an appointed feast or custom to study this week.

Pray: Dear Father, Your story of redemption is the greatest love story ever told. My heart is filled with deep gratitude to be chosen as the bride of Christ. The blood of Jesus makes me without spot or wrinkle, holy and without blemish. I eagerly await Your return. If there is any hidden sin in my heart, please tenderly show me Lord, so I may repent. Amen.

About the Author

Debra Marsalisi

Deb Marsalisi is an author, public speaker, mentor and Fire Inspector. She began her writing journey to make peace with her challenging past. It has provided her with an outlet for creative self-expression, and a healthy new perspective on life. 

Through God’s amazing grace, she has learned to rejoice in life’s ups and downs, struggles and victories understanding they’ve been given so she can help and inspire others on their own journey of restoration. Her passion is to support others in emotional and spiritual habits that are truly life-changing. She spends her free time loving, encouraging and mentoring young women to grow in their relationship with Jesus. And she also enjoys cooking amazing meals for her friends and family.