Part One of Eight: The Upper Room

Ever since God banished Adam and Eve away from the Tree of Life, mankind has been in a fallen state. However, for man to become the Bride of Christ, he had to be in a sinless state. The Bible says “. . .what fellowship does righteousness have with unrighteousness. . .[1]?” Through Adam, man inherited the sin-nature.

Because of man’s fallen nature, becoming the Bride of Christ was impossible. God’s plan required that mankind needed forgiveness before he could become the glorious Bride of Christ [2]. Therefore, the Father sent His Son to forgive mankind of Adam’s sin. This laid the groundwork for the forgiveness of man’s inherited sin nature but only through the acceptance of Christ and the repentance of sin.

Christ forgave mankind through His Blood and on the Cross at Calvary. With the sin nature forgiven, forgiveness is now waiting for all of mankind through repentance and acceptance. Once someone accepts Christ, God forgives the repentant man’s sins. However, man still has the sin nature.

Four-thousand years later after the Garden…destiny called. We find Christ and His disciples in the upper room taking communion at the Last Supper. This moment in history was predestined and Jesus knew He was about to die and had been warning the disciples of His impending death. This upset the disciples, greatly [3].

To comfort His Disciples [4], Jesus gave them a promise analogous to Jewish marriage customs of the day. This promise was to touch and encourage the souls of the entire world and encourage all those who were yet to come. Jesus told His disciples,

v1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
v2 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.
v3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also [John 14:1-3 KJV].

Christ told them in a way that they could understand. In Jewish marriage customs [5] it was customary that once a man and woman [6] were betrothed, the groom would travel back to his father’s place and prepare living quarters for them [7] and when his father approved of the dwelling, he’d give the son the go-ahead to go get his bride.

When Christ and His disciples drank of the wine in the upper room, it was a betrothal of marriage [8]. The communion in church is for the purpose of betrothal to Him. Christ was telling them that he had to leave in order to build a place for them to live, and that He’d return for them so they could live together forever. God created mankind to acquire a bride [9], and all of scripture points to this truth. Israel and the disciples did not have the ears to hear this during Christ’s physical stay on earth.

From Eden to Golgotha, Genesis to Revelation, nothing speaks to this fact like the Jewish Marriage Customs. The Bible is replete with references to them. God’s Word is a love affair between Christ and His Bride. This love affair culminates in the Book of the Revelation at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb [10].

While on Earth, Christ used marriage metaphors to teach His disciples about His Kingdom, all of which came from the early scrolls that we call the Old Testament Scriptures [11]. When we put these marriage metaphors beside the Christian Church, we see a parallel that we cannot deny.

To grasp the meaning of Christ’s promise to His disciples and to the world, as written in John 14:1-3 above, it would behoove us to study the steps of the Jewish Marriage Customs. This will keep His promise in context, because when studying the Bible, context is everything. Not only will this help us understand Christ’s promise, but it will help us understand the entire Bible and Scripture will jump right off of the pages. What was once difficult for us to understand will be academic when we grasp the steps of the wedding customs?

Before the foundation of the world, God formulated His plan and in the end, Christ would come to purchase His Bride and make us His own. As Christ prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was just hours away from paying the ultimate price for His Bride.

[1] 2 Corinthians 6:14
[2] 1 Peter 1:16
[3] John 16:6, 20-23
[4] Luke 22:14-21 Judas had left to betray Jesus.
[5] Practiced even today by the orthodoxy.
[6] Galatians 3:28
[7] Since we are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16), it is us who He is going to prepare for His return.
[8] Matthew 26:26-29
[9] Ephesian 1:9-14
[10] Revelation 19:9
[11] Christ taught from the Scrolls of the Old Testament era


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