The Jewish Wedding Custom and the Rapture.
We see in the Old Testament customs that were types and patterns, foreshadows of the coming of the Messiah and what he would do for mankind. The 7 yearly Jewish festivals for example. The most well-known is of course, Passover and the Passover Lamb and Easter. We see in the New Testament and the book of Revelation that Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God. John the Baptist called him the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. The Lambs were sacrificed on Passover. Jesus was crucified on Passover. The feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus' body was in the tomb. First Fruits(Easter), Jesus rose from the dead. Then Pentecost, the out pouring, giving of the Holy Spirit. These first 4 festivals have all now been fulfilled by Jesus. The remaining 3 of Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles are yet to be fulfilled. We see that the Jewish wedding custom also foreshadows what God the Father and Jesus would do. With the Jewish wedding custom we see the whole plan of salvation.
Jesus was addressing the Rapture when he said, John 14: 2 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 that you also may be where I am. … With this statement Jesus was using the Jewish wedding custom as an example, parallel to the Rapture, his coming for his bride.
The Jewish wedding custom, the groom would go to the bride to be's house where he and his father would pay her father the price for her. You were legally married at this time, you just didn't come together as man and wife. Remember Joseph and Mary, how Joseph sought to divorce her quietly, but they hadn't come together as man and wife yet. The groom would return to his father’s house and prepare a room for his bride, called the bridal chamber. John 14 v2 “My Father’s house has many rooms” and “I am going there to prepare a place for you”.
When the allotted amount of time had been met, the father would tell his son to return to the bride’s house and get her and bring her back to his house. John 14 v3 I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. With the Jewish wedding custom no one would know when the groom was going to return to the bride’s house to get her, not even the groom. Only the groom’s father. The father would tell his son when it was time. You see Jesus makes a reference to this with Mt. 24 v36, about that day or hour no one knows. He also said, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son knows, but only the Father. Again, no one except the Father would know when this would be not even the Groom. The bride would be making herself ready during this time. When the Father would tell his Son it was time to go get his bride he would leave his father’s house and return to the brides house to get her at a time unknown to her, at least the exact time wasn’t known.
The bride and her attendants, bridesmaids would watch and wait. When they heard the announcement that the bridegroom was returning the bride would make final preparations and then the bride and her bridesmaids would go out to meet the Groom. The streets would be lit. There would be the blowing of a trumpet/trumpets. There would be a procession back to the Fathers house. Sound familiar? We see in 1 Thes. 4: 16 of the rapture Paul says, For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God.
This is a picture of Jesus coming to earth, paying the price for us, his bride, Jesus and God the Father did that for us on the cross, returning to the Father’s house, heaven, (his resurrection) preparing rooms for us. Then returning to receive his bride and take us, his bride back to the father’s house. This will occur with the Rapture (1Thes. 4:13-17).
With the Jewish wedding custom the bride and groom would stay in the room prepared for her, called the bridal chamber for 7 days. During these 7 days there was a celebration, the wedding banquet. This was also known as the bridal week. Guests were invited to the wedding banquet. After the 7 days they would come out of the bridal chamber for the wedding supper/feast. We see this in Rev. 19, Jesus and his bride coming out of the bridal chamber, the Church returning with Jesus from heaven back to earth for the wedding supper/feast.
So, the betrothal, the paying of the price for the bride, the leaving for his Father’s house, returning from the Father’s house to get his bride, then being in the bridal chamber for 7 days. The Wedding Ceremony (Groom receives his Bride). They would then enter the room he had prepared for her, the bridal chamber which they would stay in for 7 days. During the 7 days the bride and Groom are in the bridal chamber, the family and friends would have a weeklong celebration, the wedding banquet. It was at a wedding banquet that Jesus performed his first miracle of turning water into wine. Then after the 7th day the bride and groom would come out to the wedding supper/feast. You see this first mentioned in Genesis chapter 29 with the story of Jacob, Leah and Rachael.
At the end of the 7 years of the tribulation period, at Jesus’ 2nd coming, you see Jesus returning with his bride to the earth and then you have the Wedding Supper (feast) Rev. 19.
Rev. 19: 11 I saw (heaven standing open) and 14 The armies of heaven were (following him), riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. .. We see the Church age saints coming from heaven with Jesus riding on white horses. We see Jesus coming from heaven WITH his bride, with the Church age saints. John said he saw heaven standing open and the Church age saints following him. Verses 7-9 tell us who these dressed in fine linen, white and clean are.
You see Christ's Bride is in Heaven with him before his 2nd coming, before He returns to the earth! "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 her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, "Write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, "These are the true words of God." Revelation 19:7-9. Those that live through the tribulation and are found righteous will be the guest’s invited to the wedding feast that will occur here on earth after Jesus and the Church, his bride has returned.
Well, can you see the parallel in Jesus coming to the earth, the Church’s (brides) home, paying the price for us (His bride), dying on the cross. Going back to his Father’s house (heaven) and preparing a room (rooms) for us. The Rapture you have him returning to receive his bride. Then with his 2nd coming back down to earth the Groom and his Bride coming out of the bridal chamber for the wedding supper/feast. Is it just a coincidence that the bride and groom would stay in the bridal chamber for 7 days and the Tribulation is 7 years?
Maranatha, come Lord Jesus.