GOD’S WORD FOR APRIL 20
GOD’S WORD FOR APRIL 20 ~ ~ John 14:28 ~ ~ “You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.”
We left the young Jewish couple, (and the bride of Christ) at the waiting time between the betrothal and the actual wedding feast.
There is another ritual that they accomplished during this time. This is the Mikveh
The bride is immersed in a special bath, symbolic of spiritual cleansing, sometime before the actual wedding. Sometime during this time also, the groom will do the same thing.
In the New Testament, the corresponding event would be Baptism Ephesians 5:26-27.
“…to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” –
This would explain why Jesus insisted upon John the Baptist baptizing Him even though He had no sins to repent of. He was fulfilling yet another step in His preparation for His wedding that He yearned for:
Matthew 3:13-17 ~ ~ “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
During their separation time, which we are in also, they were both busy. The bride’s time and efforts were all consumed in preparing for her upcoming wedding. She needed get her wedding clothes in order, plans for the small things in the home, make herself as attractive as possible for her beloved.
One place I found describes this time in a wedding of King Solomon: This is the Church and our Beloved Savior:
There is excitement as the bride awaits always prepared for her Groom… Here are some extracts from the Bible that tell us what that Ancient wedding was like; the bridegroom wore a crown or garland on his head; ‘Go forth, O daughters of Zion, at King Solomon, at the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding…’ – Song of Solomon 3:11. We must like Israel be seen greatly rejoicing in this Prophetic verse; “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”- Isaiah 61:10. It is the remnant of the faithful in Israel who are depicted as rejoicing in the Lord because their time is coming when their (and our) promised Messiah – Yeshua WILL come to “tabernacle” among His people and will lead God’s Covenant Nation in joyful praises.
“Go forth, daughters of Zion” – those who claim the Name of the God of Israel and dwell in His City…” “See the crown upon his bead, and rejoice in his rejoicing! This crown was apparently not a symbol of king Solomon’s power, but it was the marriage crown, a garland of flowers and greens tied together with ribbons that was always worn as part of the marriage celebration until the time of Vespasian. The joy was in his marriage: in the public and permanent union of his bride with himself. Notice how perfectly parallel this presentation is with our relationship to our Lord: we are united with Him by the rebirth, but we are not publicly and everlastingly reigning with Him …until by faith we leave our “honeymoon cottage” (where He has dwelt in our hearts and prepared us for service) and abandon ourselves to Him, ever after sitting at His side, attending His will.”
No wonder Paul and James keep telling us to be joyful in all things! Everything wasn’t perfect during that year, or more while they were preparing. But they both had a spirit of celebration and anticipation that we are to have, and even more as our Husband is far greater than an ordinary husband, thus our joy should be far greater.
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; …
Luke 10:20 ~ ~ “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
And again he says: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!”
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Tomorrow we’ll see what the bridegroom is doing all this time.
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