The Bride of Christ Revealed – Part 2 Identifying the Bridegroom
(Ver 1.1) It is almost obvious to me that if my primary subject of this series is the identity of the Bride of Christ, that weare talking about a marriage of a woman to a groom. In every normal Bible marriage there are always two participants, the man and the woman. This was and is God’s design and definition of a marriage. We will talk about this in more depth later, but for now I want to continue this series by first identifying the groom using the Bible and the scriptures that speak specifically about this marriage event. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back and start with Part 1, The Introduction.
In every normal wedding that I’ve ever attended, there are two primary participants. The bride and the groom. I did say a normal God kind of wedding. A male and a female are said to be joined together in holy matrimony. I thought that in order to establish the identity of the bride of Christ we might ought to start with the basics and find out is Jesus Christ the groom? This of course shouldn’t be too difficult, but I would guess that some Christians have never studied the subject so they couldn’t tell you if He is or if He isn’t. Even though I do not like to go through basic theology, we might want to start with something more basic, like who was Jesus Christ was he God or was he just a man? Hopefully you do know that he was a man, but he was also God in the flesh of a male human. Jesus was both 100% God and 100% a man. While I was studying I counted over 30 times just in the book of Matthew that Jesus is referred to as “the son of man”. Of course the term “son” clearly indicates that he was a male and then the reference to him being a child of Adam is also there. You might not see that very clearly right now, but it is there and we will probably get into that in more depth later.
When there are a lot of scriptures on a subject it seems it is easier for people to see what you are telling them. I think God was making a point and emphasizing it with bold and exclamation points that Jesus Christ was a man due to the number of scriptures that are recorded with this revelation. So let’s back up again and scripturally establish the deity of Jesus. There are not as many clear references in the Bible that declare the specific deity of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. Let’s start with one in Matthew the first chapter:
Mat 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
This verse is of course speaking about Mary becoming pregnant with Jesus Christ. Here we have a very clear reference that he will be called “Emmanuel” which is a Hebrew name meaning “God with us”. This of course is very controversial in various religions of the world and many of them would certainly deny that God would do something so ridiculous. It is funny how God uses these foolish things to confound the wise. So we need at least one more good reference that Jesus was God and I think there is a good one in the first chapter of John.
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
The first chapter of John is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, it is really amazing what it says. In the very first verse of the chapter it describes God as being “the Word”. This verse is a parallel to Genesis 1:1. It just speaks of God in different terms. If you see what John 1 says, it is almost a paradox, how can the Word be “With” God at the same time that it “Is” God. It is an interesting theological predicament, much like trying to explain the Trinity of God. I mostly just accept what it says and believe it just because it says it rather than attempt to explain it. As you read down the chapter you find an amazing statement of truth in verse 14 about this God called “The Word”. This verse informs us that “The Word” or “God” was made flesh and lived among us. The God who has purposely hid himself throughout the ages from our physical view, would take on the form of a human male and walk around like He was just one of us. That concept boggles the religious mind to no end. What we can clearly see in this first chapter of John, is the fact that the man Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. Let’s look at just one more reference in the Bible where Jesus himself makes a statement to some men who couldn’t understand or accept what he was saying:
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.
Joh 10:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
Joh 10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
Joh 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
From the mouth of Jesus himself, he spoke and said that God the Father and him were one in the same. That is an awesome statement of revelation that you need to get a hold of and understand the full implications given. The men that heard him wanted to kill him and took up stones to do so. Jesus just asked for what good work are you going to stone me for? But they said it wasn’t for anything that he did, just for what he said. They could see that he was a man and based upon what he said they rejected what he told them. Jesus in affect was saying I am the one that created the universe and you didn’t recognize me. Jesus was God standing directly before them and they did not see it. Obviously we can learn a lot from this lesson if we are open. In another place in the Gospels, Jesus said “If you have seen me you have seen my Father.” (John 14:7-9). Again, Jesus says He is God. There are certainly a lot of other scriptures that I could include in this discussion, but I’ll stop there.
We could certainly say more and easily get off of the mainline of the subject, so let’s go ahead and look at verses about Jesus being the bridegroom. So in every marriage, there should always be a male participant making a proposal to a female, followed by a wedding ceremony. So who is this bridegroom?
Later I will take you to an in depth study of Revelation 21 where the angel takes John in the spirit to view the Lamb’s wife. In this chapter we are given a glimpse and a view into the spiritual realm to see a symbolic woman who is described in elaborate terms. But like I said earlier it does not say she is ever called the Bride of Christ, it says she is the “Lamb’s Wife”. As we know from the Book of John only Jesus is ever directly or indirectly called the Lamb of God.
Joh 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Joh 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
Jesus is seen walking up to John and John stops in his tracks and says “Behold the Lamb of God”. This is an awesome revelation. John knew that Jesus would soon suffer and die and be the one time sacrifice for the payment of our sin. Therefore, we can clearly see the reference that Jesus is indirectly called the bridegroom that will marry the bride shown to us in Revelation 21. We will certainly get into this in more depth later. We could talk a lot about the significance of the lamb and in the use of lamb’s blood right here, because there are a number of significant parallels given to us in the Old Testament, but I will try to stay on target and stick with our primary subject.
Now I want to go through other scriptural conformations found in the New Testament concerning the identity of the Bridegroom. There are really several scriptures and I will not attempt to include them all for the sake of time and space. We can see the identity of the bridegroom in the words of Jesus himself speaking to the disciples of John:
Mat 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
Mat 9:15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
When the disciples of John ask Jesus why his disciples don’t fast like they do, Jesus replies with a very important, but simple truth. How can the children of the bride chamber fast when they are with the bridegroom? The inference is clearly given that Jesus is calling himself the bridegroom and since he was present with them they didn’t need to fast. He then says there will come a time when the bridegroom would be taken from them and then they could fast. We can see that Jesus is looking forward to his crucifixion, his subsequent resurrection and his ascension, when he would be taken from this earth. These words in Matthew 19:14-15 are echoed in Mark 2:19 and Luke 5:34 also, so here we see three specific witnesses declaring Jesus Christ to be the bridegroom. In fact all of these are quotes of Jesus himself declaring himself to be the bridegroom. Also, if you look closely at this verse and the specific term “bridechamber” you will also see the implied inference to who the bride is. If you have been following my other blogs you can also see an implication of the “seed of the woman” by the reference to the children of the bride. But since we aren’t there yet, let’s look at another witness to the identity of the bridegroom. We can see that Jesus is again called the bridegroom by John the Baptist in the Gospel of John.
Joh 3:28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
Joh 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
We can see in verse 28 of John 3, that John the Baptist tells everyone that he is not the Greek word Christ, or the Hebrew equivalent word is Messiah. However, we now know the identity of the one who John is about to talk about. Then in verse 29, three times John the Baptist calls Jesus Christ the bridegroom. This verse actually has more revelation, but that is the primary point that you should accept as a great additional witness. John’s first statement is concerning the bride and declares that Jesus is the bridegroom that has her. While John does not directly identify who the bride is, he definitely identifies who the Groom is. Interesting isn’t it? The Greek word translated as bride in this verse has the following definition in the Strong’s:
From a primary but obsolete verb νύπτω nuptō (to veil as a bride; compare the Latin “nupto”, to marry); a young married woman (as veiled), including a betrothed girl; by implication, a son’s wife: – bride, daughter in law.
You can see that this word is related to the Latin word “Nupto” meaning to marry. We get English words like nuptial from this word. So clearly we can see the association of a woman that is being married to the Lord Jesus Christ. This woman must be the bride of Christ. So who is this woman that is married to the Lord Jesus Christ? Knowing who the bridegroom is, gives us a firm foundation for us to start an in depth study of who the bride is. But let’s list some of the basic facts that we have just learned from the preceding verses:
- Jesus Christ was God in the flesh
- Jesus Christ is a Man and is also called the Son of Man.
- Jesus Christ is called the Lamb of God.
- Jesus Christ is called the bridegroom.
- Jesus Christ is said to have a bride and a wife.
- A bride is always a female.
- There has to be a marriage and a wedding between Jesus and His bride.
I think these are basic scriptural facts, but yet maybe you haven’t seen them until now. So knowing these facts we can now explore the identity of the bride of Christ so let us start by researching the subject in the Word of God. Two questions come to my mind at this point in the study and I think these questions will help us point to where we should go next. Here are the two questions that I thought of:
- What is a marriage in the eyes of God?
- What is a woman in the eyes of God?
I believe by focusing in on what God thinks are the answers to these two direct questions that it will help to provide us a firm foundation to the clear identity of the bride of Christ. In my next blog we will begin to focus on these subjects.
If you would like to continue reading this series, you can go to “Part 3“.
Posted on January 27, 2010, in The Church and tagged Bible, Bride, Christianity, Church, Covenants, God, Jesus, man, marriage, Religion, Revelation, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.