The Wedding Ceremony
New World Order Series, Part 6
The long-ago foretold wedding ceremony of the Bride and Groom is the heavenly event that will occur just once and never again. While the ceremony is purely symbolic, it is a compelling metaphor describing Christ's return for His Church. Great fanfare will accompany clouds of angelic witnesses and invited guests as they encircle the Bride and Groom. As all gaze upon the holy couple, praise and unending adoration will ascend before the Father's Throne. Captivated by each other's presence and beauty, the long betrothal will be replaced with an eternal bond. Christ is beautiful, and our focus will forever be on Him. Yet we too are beautiful, because He has made us pure by His holy touch (Ephesians 5:26-27; Hebrews 10:22).
"In traditional Jewish literature, marriage is actually called kiddushin, which translates as sanctification or dedication. Sanctification indicates that what is happening is not just a social arrangement or contractual agreement, but a spiritual bonding and the fulfillment of a mitzvah, a divine pronouncement. Dedication indicates that Jewish couples now have an exclusive relationship involving total dedication of the bride and groom to one another, to the extent of both becoming, as the Kabbalists state, one soul in two bodies" . This precept of two becoming one first appeared in Matthew 19:4-6. While the reference is to man and woman becoming united in one purpose and one flesh, it most notably carries the overtone of the spiritual oneness Jesus alluded to in Mark 10:7-9.
The Wedding CanopyAn earthly marriage between the Jewish bride and the groom takes place under a wedding canopy. The marriage between the Church (Bride) and Jesus (Groom) will take place in Heaven—a type of canopy and most fitting for an eternal wedding ceremony. Since the holy event will have a sacred procession, the Groom will be led to the canopy first wherein the angelic host will say, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns... and His wife has made herself ready" (Revelation 19:6). Jesus, highly exalted by the Father, will be greeted like a King under Heaven's canopy. For all in attendance, this moment will mark the occasion in Heaven when the divine Groom is recognized as the future heir to the Throne of David (Acts 29-30). What a breathtaking moment this will be when the angelic host, guests, and witnesses erupt in praise and adoration of the Groom. Then the Bride will truly realize that she alone has the honor to stand by Him for all eternity in holy service to the One who loves her.
The Wedding ChamberAfter the Jewish wedding ceremony ends, the groom and bride go to the wedding chamber where the marriage will be consummated. The word "consummate" in the context of marriage means to be made complete, in the spiritual and legal sense. While the Bible does not talk about the consummation in detail, it is important to remember the idea of this heavenly wedding ceremony is purely metaphorical. The symbolism within the context of the wedding points to the eternal and legal bond that will exist between the body of believers and Christ for all time (2 Corinthians 11:2;Ephesians 5:25-32). One notable difference between the heavenly and earthly consummation is its duration. In Heaven, a 7-year period is believed to mark the duration of the consummation, as opposed to the hour a Jewish bride and groom spend alone together after the ceremony.
Today, we know the 7-year period marks the Great Tribulation on earth and that during this time the Bride is believed to be in glory with the Groom. Upon completion of the heavenly consummation, there is the official pronouncement to say God has now joined the two in one spirit. While the true Bride has been veiled (hidden) in Christ for 2,000 years, those in attendance at the heavenly wedding will see the bridal veil removed, revealing the true sons and daughters of God (Romans 8:19; Colossians 3:3).
The Bridal VeilWhile the bridal veil shows the modesty and purity of the bride and her reverence for God, it reminds us of the Temple veil that was torn in two when Christ died on the cross (Luke 23:45). The lifting of the veil took away the separation between God and man, giving believers access into the very presence of God. Since Christian marriage is a picture of the union between Christ and the church, we see another reflection of this relationship in the removal of the bridal veil. Through marriage, the couple now has full access to one another (1 Corinthians 7:4) .
The call echoing in the heart of every believer is to get ready, close, and personal to the Groom (Revelation 19:7). The call is to focus on all that is good so the Spirit can veil (guard) us from the disquieting quandary of this present world (Philippians 4:7-8). Believers who are ready learn to walk in faithfulness to the Spirit in wait for the midnight call of her Groom (Galatians 5:25; Matthew 25:6).
From Jesus' perspective, you and I became the most beautiful creations there could ever be when we were born again (John 3:3). There can never be a Bride more beautiful than the one the Groom created for Himself.
Next: Part 7: The Coming King of Kings
 Paraphrased – OhSomayach – The Jewish Wedding Ceremony – Rabbi Mordechai Becher
 About Christianity.com – Christian Wedding Customs and Traditions – Mary Fairchild
New World Order, The Series
Part 1: To Rule Over You
Part 2: One Banner of Faith
Part 3: No Need for God
Part 4: The Opening Act
Part 5: The Bride of Christ
Part 6: The Wedding Ceremony
Part 7: The Coming King of Kings
Image Credit: Jessie Hodge; "The Venue"; Creative Commons
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