And the Bridegroom departed.
After all the previous steps of the Hebrew betrothal process were completed, the bridegroom separated himself from his precious, betrothed bride.
He went to be with his father to build the bridal chamber or home he would share with his bride for the rest of their lives. He prepared either a separate building on his father’s property, add a room or a house onto his father’s house in his compound, or decorate a room in his father’s house. Usually, he added it onto the family compound.
Whatever project the bridegroom undertook, it would usually take the better part of a year. However, before he departed to begin his project, the bridegroom made a statement to his bride, “I go to prepare a place for you; if I go, I will return again unto you.”
On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus essentially told the disciples the bridegroom’s statement, “I am going away to prepare a place for you…When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with Me where I am.” (John 14:2b Ampc, John 14:3 NLT)
The heavenly Husband departed to be with His Father to prepare a dwelling place added onto His Father’s house for His Bride that we might be a part of His family and share His dwelling place.
Max Lucado wrote in his book When Christ Comes, “He is building a house for you. And with every swing of the hammer and cut of the saw, He’s dreaming of the day He carries you over the threshold.”* Isn’t that an awesome thought?
During the time the espoused couple was separated, tradition did not allow contact between them except through a communicator or intermediary. When faced with this separation from her bridegroom, the bride knew she could count on this “best man” to keep communications open, as he would relay messages of love back and forth between the two.
As the assistant who also helped plan the marriage, this man was called the “friend of the bridegroom.” John the Baptist referred to himself this way, saying, “The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.” (John 3:29 NKJV)
When Christ went ahead to prepare a place for His Bride within His Father’s compound, He sent the Holy Spirit as the Friend of the Bridegroom to be the communicator for Him.
Now, the Holy Spirit, as the intermediary, woos the heart of Christ’s intended, passionately whispering in Her ear and delicately relaying the Bridegroom’s messages of love to Her heart.
Though there may seem to be times of silent separation between the Bridegroom and us, “nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:39b NLT)
Before the groom’s father allowed the bridegroom to go get his bride, he needed to be satisfied that the son had completed his preparations of the new home. When the father decided that all was ready, then the bridegroom could start out on his journey to snatch away his bride. Of that moment of readiness, the son was not privileged to know.
So it is with the heavenly Bridegroom. Of that moment for the Bridegroom to come for His Bride, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matt. 24:36 NIV)
He’s coming soon. Will you be ready?
May you always be that ready Bride…Lynn
*Max Lucado, When Christ Comes (Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group, 1999)
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