We now live in a period of biblical history known as the Church Age. It began fifty days after Yeshua (Jesus) rose from from the dead on a Jewish holiday called Shavuot. Among believers in Jesus today that holiday is called Pentecost. The Church Age will end with the Rapture, when all true believers in Jesus will be caught up with Him in the sky to be where He is forever. Shortly afterward a monumental celebration will take place, the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.
Since ascending back to heaven two millennia ago, Yeshua has been preparing a place for His Bride, the Church. In the interim, His Bride has been given work to do. We are to live holy lives as a witness to His life within us. We are to make disciples who make disciples until He takes us home to be with Him. The story of the Marriage Feast of the Lamb is the story of the things that could very well happen very soon. No one knows when the Rapture will occur. But the Bible is clear, it will happen. Will you and your disciples be ready?
Points To Ponder
1. Jesus as the 2nd Adam succeeds the protector of the Church, His Bride while the 1st Adam failed as Eve’s husband?
2. Until the Rapture, the Church should be purifying Herself for the day Jesus comes to claim Her as His Bride.
3. As a believer in Jesus, you have an important role as a member in the Bride of Messiah. You are to help prepare the entire Church for His appearing. This is what disciple making is all about.
Main Story Points
1. On Patmos, John remembered Jesus’s disciples who were already with Him in heaven. He also thought about why Emperor Domitian had exiled him to the island prison.
2. John reflected on the amazing day he had just experienced. Jesus had revealed the events of the last days.
3. Quote: “Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.” – Revelation 1:19 NASB
4. At the end of three and a half years of training as Jesus’s disciple, Jesus shared His final earthly meal with His friends. It was His Last Passover before His death, burial, and resurrection.
5. Explain the breaking of the bread. Connect it with Jesus’s birthplace in Bethlehem, the House of Bread.
6. Quote: “And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.’” – Luke 22:20 NASB
7. Summarize the 1st Century wedding system in Galilee (see below).
8. John connects Jesus’ offer of the cup during the Last Passover with the Lamb’s Marriage Feast.
9. Quote: “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.” – JOHN 14:2-3 NASB
10. The Church is the Bride of Messiah. She is waiting for Jesus to return and claim Her.
Galilean Wedding System
During the Last Passover, Yeshua took bread and broke it. He then distributed it to those gathered around the table. He said, “Take, eat it all. This is my body broken for you.” This was a strange thing to say to a group of Jews. Next, “He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” John and the others likely thought this too was pretty strange. Why?
In Galilee, where John had grown up, young girls dreamed about the man who would ask her father for her hand in marriage one day. Not much has changed since those days. They likely had mental lists about the qualities they wanted their future husband to have. Someone strong, confident, gentle, sincere, and honest. A man who would provide his family with security and protection from anything that could harm them. A young bride wanted to know that the man of her dreams would even give his own life to save her from danger. From an early age, every young Galilean woman had someone like this in mind. She hoped that this was the kind of man her father would give her to.
Young men also knew what they were looking for in a bride-to-be. They wanted someone whose eyes never strayed to another. They searched for a woman who would respect him for his sacrificial love for her. Galilean grooms also looked for their fathers’ approval of their selection of a bride. What did a marriage proposal in Galilee during the time of Jesus look like? How would a young man ask for a potential bride’s hand in marriage?
The fathers of the two young people would discuss the possibility of a marriage between their children. The two fathers would discuss a bride price, and if agreed to, the young man would pour wine into a cup. Then he would say something that should sound very familiar if you have ever participated in the taking of communion. Offering her the cup, he would say, “I will be the very best husband I can be. This cup of wine is offered as a token or sign of a marriage covenant between me and you. It is a covenant sealed with the blood of my own life.” It was decision time. Would she take the cup and drink from it, or would the groom-to-be seek another? What would she do? If she drank, they were married!
Immediately, the bride and the groom went to work to prepare for their marriage’s consummation at a future time. When that day arrived, she wanted to be the most beautiful woman her new husband would ever see. She wanted to be perfect in every way when he took her home with him always.
The young man would return to his father’s house to begin building a place for them to live together, forever. He wanted to make sure that his bride would be proud to call that place her home. If he was wise, he asked his father’s advice about the home he was preparing. When his father said, “It’s ready!” the young groom would go and get his bride and bring her to the place he had prepared. Consider what Jesus said to His disciples during the Last Passover.
“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.”
Right now, just like every other Galilean groom of His day, Yeshua is preparing for His own wedding day. He is patient yet anxious for His Father to say, “Go, get your bride!” When Jesus finally comes, He will be right on schedule. When He does, the Bride and her Groom will be constant companions for 1,000 years and more! That means forever!
If you believe in Jesus, you are part of His Bride, the Church. How are your preparations coming along?