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The Return of the Groom
The Bride of Christ's eternal dwelling is being prepared right now
Before I dive into today’s post I want to let you know I have a podcast episode coming out tomorrow, May 1st. This will be for subscribers and will be posted on this site only. Be on the lookout for it!
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And 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. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.” John 14:1-4
These four verses are loaded with very significant truths concerning the return of Jesus. To begin with, any Jew listening to the words of Jesus from this text would know He was referring to a wedding ceremony.
In a Jewish wedding, after the families arranged the marriage, the groom came from his home to the bride’s home and paid the price for her. It was actually his father who was paying the price. Likewise, Jesus left His home in Heaven and came to the earth (our home) and paid for us with His blood. As we know from John 3:16, it was the Father who gave Jesus for the sins of the world.
After paying for her, the bride and groom sealed their betrothal with a glass of wine. At this point the marriage arrangement was legal, but not yet consummated. This is what happened between Jesus and the disciples at the last supper. Jesus entered into a new covenant with us with a cup of wine. We are now His betrothed Bride.
After the betrothal was sealed, the groom returned to his father’s house where he prepared a place for he and his bride to live. This is what Jesus was telling the disciples in the above text. After completing the building, the groom couldn’t return to get his bride until his father gave him permission. This is why Jesus said he didn’t know the day or hour of His return, only the Father knew.
Meanwhile, back at the bride’s home, she had no idea when the groom would return for her. She had to remain vigilant to be ready at a moments notice. It was customary for grooms to return for their brides at night. The groom and his party of friends would come through the streets toward the brides home shouting and blowing trumpets. The bride had precious seconds to prepare herself. This is why Jesus told us to watch and be ready.
After getting her, the bride and groom returned to the grooms home and entered into their wedding chamber or “hoopah” and consummated their marriage alone for seven days. After the seven days they made their appearance to family and friends and a ceremony and grand celebration took place.
When Jesus returns for us we will go with Him to the Father’s house for seven years to consummate our marriage to Him. After the seven years is over we will make our grand appearance with Him as we return to the earth to rule and reign with Him for a thousand years. (Revelation chapter 19)
Today, Jesus is at the Father’s house preparing mansions for all of us to live for eternity. We can’t comprehend how incredible they will be. There is nothing on this earth that compares to that place. It is described in Revelation chapter twenty-one and it is exquisite beyond description. And that is where we will live forever. Any day now, the trumpet could blow and we could meet our Bridegroom face to face.
Jesus promised us three things in John chapter fourteen, verses one through four:
He was going away to the Father’s house.
He was going to prepare mansions there for us to be with Him forever.
He was going to return for us and take us back with Him.
Jesus, our betrothed Bridegroom, came to the earth two thousand years ago and gave His life to pay for us to become His eternal Bride. He sealed the covenant with a cup on wine which signified the price of His blood that He gave for us. When a Jewish family paid the bride’s price, they did so to signify that they were gaining a valuable new family member. The price of Jesus’ blood tells us the value God puts on us.
Now, Jesus is at the Father’s house preparing mansions for each of us. He could return at any moment for us. Therefore, we should be waiting in anticipation of His return. In the twinkling of an eye we will be transformed and will see Him face to face. There are no words to describe the joy and ecstasy of that event and the eternity that follows. I will leave you with this passage of Scripture that describes our eternal dwelling place in the Father’s house:
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” 9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. 22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Revelation 21:1-27