Reading: Matthew 22:1-14
The bride of Christ. From childhood I’ve always heard that we who are redeemed in Jesus is the bride of Christ. I didn’t really know why, because the parable of the wedding banquet seems to identify us as guests. So now I thought I’d make a little investigation—by typing in the word “bride” in the search box of an online Bible, and see how many results there would be: 40! That includes the word “bridegroom” as well.
Join me in this study!
Genesis 34:12 – this was when Shechem was inquiring Jacob and his sons for the bride-price of Dinah
Exodus 4:25, 26 – this was when Zipporah circumcised their son, and told Moses “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me” I find this interesting, with Jesus being compared to Moses re our spiritual exodus, and He being a bridegroom, and also shedding His blood on the cross. Not sure if you see any significance, but I’ve given you the verse to ponder.
Exodus 22:16, 17 – law concerning bride-price and social responsibility
I Samuel 18:25 – all about the bride-price of Michal, as set by her father, Saul to David
Psalm 19:5 – the sun being compared to a bridegroom coming out of his chamber
Psalm 45:9 Now this is interesting because this is an Old Testament reference to the Christ and his bride! Here’s the passage in context:
6 Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.
8 All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
from palaces adorned with ivory
the music of the strings makes you glad.
9 Daughters of kings are among your honored women;
at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir. (NIV)
Song of Songs 4:8,9,10,11,12; 5:1 We all know that Song of Songs is about Solomon and his wife, whom we have also interpreted as Christ and his bride (ie, “Christians”)—remember the Sunday School song “I am my Beloved’s, and He is mine, His banner over me is love….”
Isaiah 49:18 This, again is interesting—but only if you read all of chapter 49! This is about the Messiah, and Him restoring the tribes of Jacob (yes, I suppose all 12!) and being a light to the Gentiles. The children of Zion will hasten back to the Land, and Zion will “wear them as ornaments” and put them on “like a bride”. Here the bride is referred to as Zion. I love how it also ends in v.26—“Then all mankind will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
Isaiah 61:10 The first two verses of Isaiah 61 is what Jesus read at the synagogue in Nazareth after he came back from the wilderness to be tempted (“The Spirit of the Lord is on me….”). So we know that the first part of Isaiah 61 is about the Messiah—and if you read further on, it is again about the restoration and establishment of God’s people in the Land. Before the last verse, the narrative then returns to the Speaker, the Messiah—comparing himself to a bridegroom adorning his head like a priest and to a bride adorning herself with her jewels.
Isaiah 62:5 The whole chapter talks about the vindication of Zion, the establishment of Jerusalem, the nations streaming into the Land, and the habitants being called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord. And Zion will be married to its Builder: “As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.
Jeremiah 2:2,32 – The bride is identified/inferred as Israel
Jeremiah 7:34; 16:9; 25:10; 33:11 – the literal bride and bridegroom
Joel 2:16 – the literal bride and bridegroom
Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19,20; Luke 5:34,35 – Jesus refers to Himself as the bridegroom—and the disciples His guests
Matthew 25 – the parable of the ten virgins wherein the word “bridegroom” is mentioned 4 times—in vv. 1, 5, 6 and 10.
John 2:9 – the wedding at Cana in Galilee
John 3:29 – John the Baptist likens himself to a friend who is waiting for the bridegroom, and the bridegroom as Jesus
Revelation 18:23 – the literal bride and bridegroom
Revelation 19:7 – the woman on the Beast, that is Babylon who corrupted the earth had just been destroyed. The wedding supper of the Lamb is announced, and the apostle John is told to write: “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”
6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
7 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.
8 Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
Revelation 21:2 “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”
Revelation 21:9 – the bride is explicitly referred to as the New Jerusalem, wherein on each of its twelve pearly gates are written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; and on each of the twelve foundations are the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
Revelation 22:17 “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”
The online Bible has just provided us the list—I’ll leave you to decide who is the Bride, my friend. But regardless, I hope you will accept God’s invitation to his wedding banquet, and will put on the garment He requires and has already provided.
May the reading of God’s Word be blessed.
The Lord bless you.