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Week Seven | Headed to the Father’s House

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The Gospel on the Ground Online Biblical Study
Reading Assignment – Session Seven (Pg. 160-182)
Listen to the Audio version | Reading Time: 4 minutes

I love weddings, I always have. I love the way every bride beams with excitement being surrounded by her closest friends and family, in her beautiful dress, hair and makeup. It’s so sweet to watch the bridesmaids tend to their close friend, making sure she always looks her best. I can’t help but grin while watching the groom wait with anticipation to see his bride and his reaction the moment she steps into view.

I’m so blessed to have been involved in many weddings. I’ve had the privilege to be a bridesmaid for many, but also have handed out bubbles, set up reception areas, played my flute, interpreted a song in sign language, and assisted in other ways for their special day. 

The beauty of weddings captures my imagination, and I can’t help but dream, plan, and hope for my own one day. I know the colors and have a lot of the music picked out. I even have some very sweet ideas planned for the reception. And it’s so fun to share these ideas with my family and closest friends and share the joy and anticipation. 

As much as I love all things weddings, there is a greater wedding day I’m anticipating even more. 

Bride of Christ

Throughout the entire Bible, God uses marriage to explain His special relationship with His people. In Exodus 19, God made a covenant with Israel at Sinai which was a form of marriage, further explained in Ezekiel 16.

And in Isaiah 54, God explains His role as groom and husband to His people, 

“For your Maker is your husband the Lord Almighty is his name the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.”
Isaiah 54:5, NIV

While in the Old Testament the theme of marriage is strictly between God and the people of Israel, in the New Testament Jesus extends this covenant to be between Himself and all of His followers. 

We see this theme clearly through the Judaic traditions of old, where the groom would leave his father’s house and travel to the house of the bride to “purchase” her for an agreed-upon price, to establish a marriage contract and set apart the bride exclusively for her groom. The covenant agreement involved the bride and groom sharing a cup of wine.

Jesus illustrated His intentions to be our groom when He left His Father’s house in heaven and came to earth, to the house of His bride. In Matthew 9:15, Jesus even refers to Himself as the bridegroom, and then in John 3:29, John the Baptist describes Jesus as the bridegroom and himself as the best man.  

Jesus purchased the church, His bride, by paying the ultimate price with His own blood, so that we may have everlasting life with Him, in His Father’s house. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, there is a New Covenant agreement which ensures everyone who believes in Him is set apart and sanctified as His Bride. When we take communion and drink wine in remembrance of His sacrifice for us, we participate in the symbolic covenantal agreement established when Jesus bought His Bride.

The Rooms Are Ready, Go Get Your Bride

Continuing with Jewish tradition, a couple would enter into a betrothal period, more binding than our Western understanding of engagement.  It would typically last about a year, while the groom and his father would work together at the beit av, father’s house, to build on and prepare a room for his bride.

Jesus promised that He and His Father were building rooms onto the Father’s house. A day is coming when the living God is going to look at His Son and say, “Son, the rooms are ready. God get Your bride.

Kristi Mclelland, page 165 of “the gospel on the ground

In John 14:2-3, Jesus said,

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you also may be where I am.”
John 14:2-3, NIV

We are living in the betrothal season, my friend. There is a day we can look forward to, anticipating when Jesus, our groom will come back to bring us/the church, His bride, home to His Father’s house. We don’t know when this glorious day will happen. Jesus explained in Mark 13:32 only His Father knows when the time will be. 

God revealed to John a little about what this amazing day will look like in Revelation 19:7-9,

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given to her to wear.” Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” 
Revelations 19:7-9, NIV

Get ready, my friend.

They are building your room!

Kristi Mclelland, session 7 video of “the gospel on the ground

1. Throughout the entire Bible, God uses marriage to explain His special relationship with His people.
2. In the Old Testament the theme of marriage is strictly between God and the people of Israel.
3. In the New Testament Jesus extends this covenant to be between Himself and all of His followers.
4. We are living in the betrothal season, waiting for Jesus to return.
5. Jesus our groom is coming back to bring His bride, the church, to His Father’s house.

In what ways are you, as the bride of Christ, getting ready for the day when Jesus returns to take you to His Father’s house?

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The Gospel on the Ground | Kristi McLelland

A 7-week study unpacking the life of the early church in the book of Acts to see that the kingdom of God is always on the move, always looking outward to bring meaning and joy to a world searching for true fulfillment and hope.

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