So how do we respond to those steps that He took as the Bridegroom? How do we respond? Who are we? How do we accept this offer of marriage? Well, as you might guess, because He loved us first and because we would not have known how to love Him without that, our steps are a little bit different than His. The same, but a little varied.
The first one, of course, is that we must accept His pursuit. Remember, there was a pursuit set in motion. We must accept that pursuit. In other words, sooner or later, it’s got to grab our attention. We must accept the fact that He is pursuing us. John 6:44 says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.”(NIV) The Father makes the arrangements, the Father calls the Bride to the Son.
We also see that in Isaiah 54:5&10; 55:1-8 scripture says, “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. The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit–a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God. “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer. “To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you….”Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David. See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of the peoples. Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.” Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”(NIV)
Do you see the pursuit? The invitation and the pursuit. God pursued the nation of Israel, His people, after they had abandoned Him and made them a Light to the nations. His Son, the Son of David, is His ultimate Light. He is in pursuit of a people, a people to call His own. He is in pursuit. In pursuit of a Bride for His Son. We have to recognize His pursuit and follow. Come to me while I may be found.
And, of course, we know that when Jesus went to His disciples in pursuit He said, “Come follow me.” Come you who are thirsty, come drink from the waters of life, come follow me. There is a pursuit set in motion. Therefore, our first step is to accept His pursuit when He calls us to follow Him. For today is the day of salvation. (2 Cor. 6:2)
As we know Yeshua went to be with His Father as the disciples looked on and were told He would return in the same manner that they saw Him leave. And yes, we also know that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us. As Hebrews 7:25 puts it, “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”(NIV)
Jesus paid the price in full, the full bridal price with His death on the cross. But did you know He lives for you. He lives for you. Think about that. Do you live for Him? I hope so. I try to. He lives for us and He is constantly thinking about us. He is thinking about us so much that He can’t stop talking to His Father about us. That’s what He’s doing. He’s talking to His Daddy about you and me.
But what exactly are they talking about? John 17 tells us what they talked about while He was here with us, it says in verse 24, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”(NIV) I want them to be with me.
In other words, “When can I go get them? Is it done yet? Am I done yet? When can I go get them? I want them to be with me.” He’s talking! He and His Daddy are talking, and apparently Daddy’s still saying, “Not yet, Son, not yet.”
Oh, what a day that will be. The great passion of Jesus is to have His bride, His wife, with Him where He is, in the place He prepared for Her, in His Father’s house.
Not just any house, His Father’s house. It was the responsibility of a Jewish Bridegroom to leave His beloved Bride after the Kiddushin to literally go and prepare a place for her in His Father’s house. We see this again with Isaac and Rebekah. Isaac brings Rebekah into his mother’s tent, a part of His father’s estate. That was their home together.
Yes, while Yeshua and His Father are talking, He’s working. Yes, He’s gone to prepare a place for you and me. I can not end this section any other way than with John 14:1-3 “”Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 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.”(NIV)
I am going to come back and we are going to have a wedding. We’re going to have a wedding. And as the precious Ketubah ends, “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come.”
Awaiting our Bridegroom,
The final step in the Kiddushin is the giving of the seal. So let’s do a little background research on a seal.
The first time we read of a seal is in Genesis 38:18 and it’s not a good situation, none the less it’s there. It is when Judah says to Tamar, “What pledge should I give you?” She answered him, “Your seal and its cord, and the staff in your hand”. So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him.”(NIV) This is Judah going to Tamar thinking she is a prostitute. Not a good situation, but none the less, both of them ancestors of our Lord. The seal during this time period was probably a small cylinder seal of the type to sign clay documents by rolling them over the clay. The owner would wear it around his neck on a cord threading through a hole drilled lengthwise through the seal. So when she says I want the seal and the cord. She is saying, “I want that thing around your neck.” And it has his name on it.
We also see the seal in the form of a ring. In Esther 8:8 Xerxes says to Esther and Mordecai, “Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring–for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”(NIV) Nothing the king puts his name on and seals can be revoked. In this passage we once again see the name in the form of a signature tied to a seal.
So how did Jesus fulfill the giving of the seal? In John 14:15-18 Jesus is promising the Holy Spirit when He says to His disciples, “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”(NIV) He’s talking as the Bridegroom all right in this passage. Think about that first statement for a minute, This is our beloved Bridegroom, our husband saying, “if you love me you will obey me.” “You will obey my commands.” What did He command? To obey His Ketubah, His marriage contract.
The seal, of course, is connected to the name. Have you ever wondered why we sing songs about The Name? Not just Jesus, but The Name. Have you ever wondered about that? Jesus’ name is connected to this giving of the seal. Romans 10:9-10 & 13 states, “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved… for, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”(NIV)
Now you may say what’s that have to do with the seal? Look at Ephesians 1:13-14, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.”(NIV) In other words, when you heard the Ketubah, believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth, calling on the name of the Lord, you were saved and sealed. It’s all connected. It goes back to believing and calling on His name.
It is about possession! Why possession? He purchased us plain and simple, He paid the Mohar. Those who are “God’s possession to the praise of His glory”, Hallelujah! Yes, the giving of the seal was a sign of ownership and security. The Holy Spirit is our seal. He is a sign of ownership and security. For the Bridegroom it’s a sign of ownership. For the Bride, it’s a sign of security. We are secure in Him. He has placed His seal on us and therefore He has placed His name on us.
So the Kiddushin is the signing of the Ketubah by witnesses, the Kiddush or the cup, along with the blessing and the unveiling of the Bride along with the Mohar or the payment of the Bridal price and the giving of the seal. Jews today will give a ring as the seal. Our seal is the Holy Spirit.
Sealed by His Holy Name,
There are two things that speak of the blood of Christ in the Kiddushin, the first was the cup (the Kiddush) and the second is the Mohar. We looked at the Kiddush as part of the last post. This time we are going to concentrate on the Mohar. The Mohar is the bridal price or literally the acquisition of the bride. Jesus paid this on the cross.
As to the history of the Mohar we can go all the way back to the Garden of Eden where God provided a bride for His son Adam. For Eve Adam had to pay a Mohar. He had to be put to sleep and have surgery, a shedding of blood, to remove a rib in order to have a wife. If that’s not a bridal price I don’t know what is. My husband has had surgery before, but it wasn’t to get me. We see Isaac paying a Mohar when money and gifts were sent along with a servant in order to acquire Rebekah. Jacob paid a Mohar, in fact, he paid it twice for Rachel. When he came to his father-in-law he did not say, “OK it is time for me to get married, give me my bride.” He said, “Give me my wife”.
Jesus did not pay with silver and gold, He paid the ultimate price. Isaiah 52:3 states, “For this is what the LORD says: “You were sold for nothing, and without money you will be redeemed.””(NIV)
We sold our selves at the Fall. We didn’t get anything out of it. We lost. “Without money you will be redeemed” the LORD said. That’s Isaiah 52, the next chapter is Isaiah 53, the chapter of our precious suffering servant.
Starting in Isaiah 53:5 if says, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”(NIV)
That is holy ground. That is the sacrifice of our beloved Bridegroom, His bridal price. The price it took to acquire us.
Let’s look at Luke 22:19 which says, “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.””(NIV) Here Jesus’ body is being broken for us, it is being given for us. That’s Jesus at the last supper. So His body was broken, while we know that His bones were not broken, His body was broken. Not a joint remained in place. Then, of course, we have the blood since with that broken body came blood.
In Leviticus 17:11 and Deuteronomy 12:23 we are told that life is in the blood. Do you believe that? Life is in the blood. So His blood needed to be shed. We see in I Peter 1:18-19 that scripture states, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”(NIV)
Did you catch it, “Without money you will be redeemed.”(NIV)
In Revelation 1:5b we read, “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.”(NIV) Then in chapter 5:9 we are given this about Jesus, “And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”(NIV)
Yes, it is His blood that redeems and it redeems completely. He didn’t just pay part of the price, He paid all of it.
At the crucifixion in John 19:30 it reads, “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”(NIV) It is finished! Tetelistai is the word in Greek. It means paid in full.
He paid His mohar completely. He purchased His Bride and He paid for her in full. He purchased her for His Father and she is His.
The Mohar was paid by Yeshua Himself as yet another part of the Kiddushin and His responsibility in it. In our next post we take a look at the final part of the Kiddushin, the giving of the seal. Is not our Lord and His gift of salvation marvelous.
Paid For In Full,
The Kiddushin (estherslegacy.com)
The betrothal ceremony is known as the Kiddushin, which is both a ceremony and period of sanctification. It is a legal ceremony. It is the legal ceremony. The betrothal designates the bride and groom only for each other and forges the connection between them.
Many of us know that Joseph and Mary were betrothed and would have needed a certificate of divorce in order to break it off. Why? Because they were betrothed. Since this betrothal was a legal action and not just a promise of marriage, as we think of an engagement today, it was legally binding. Once they went through the kiddushin they are legally husband and wife.
So let’s learn what all this Kiddushin entails, shall we? The first part of the Kiddushin, or betrothal ceremony, is the signing of the Ketubah. The Ketubah is the contract for the bride, the bride that was chosen by the father of the groom.
In the mind of the Jews, the Torah, the books of Moses, is a marriage contract between God and the people of Israel.
Now isn’t that interesting? They see the Old Testament as a marriage contract between God and His people, Israel.
In Matthew 5:17-18 Jesus says this, “”Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”(NIV)
He is saying “I did not come to abolish my Ketubah. I came to fulfill it. It’s mine. My contract for my bride. It’s mine! And I came to fulfill it. I am under contract to do so.” You see He came to fulfill His Ketubah.
Consider if Jesus had come to abolish the Law and the Prophets. He would require a certificate of divorce. He would be breaking His covenant, unwilling to fulfill His role as the Bridegroom. If that were the case, there would be no need for the Cross!
Let’s take a look at Jeremiah 31:31-34 where it says, “”The time is coming,” declares the LORD,”when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.””(NIV)
Not only did Jesus come to fulfill His Ketubah, He also came to write a new one. A new covenant that would be precious and holy. In John 17:17 Yeshua says this, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”(NIV) Now the word “sanctify” means “to make holy”. It also means “set apart”. Jesus is asking that we be set apart by our Ketubah, by His word. Set His Bride apart for Him.
This new covenant would allow the old covenant to be written on our hearts. Remember He did not come to abolish but to fulfill. Also remember that on the road to Emmaus He spoke of how the Old Covenant was really about Him. The New Covenant would take the Old and put it on the hearts of His people thereby sanctifying them, setting them truly apart for Himself.
The signing of the Ketubah is also very important because it has to be witnessed. It is not valid if He only signs it Himself. It has to be signed by witnesses, ie. He has to have co-signers.
Look at John 5:31-39 where Jesus says, “”If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid. You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me.””(NIV) (The KJV uses the word witness instead of testify).
So in the signing of the Ketubah, the witnesses testify in essence saying, “This is who your bridegroom is, this is the one your Ketubah is about.” As we see in the text, the two witnesses are John the Baptist and the Father Himself.
John the Baptist was strictly for our benefit. He is the one, as far as earthly terms are concerned, that helped start the story of the bridegroom. So, that is the first part of the Kiddushin, the Ketubah or the marriage contract and it’s signing.
The second part is the Kiddush, you can see where they got the word Kiddushin, from the Kiddush or the cup. The cup is a prayer of sanctification.
Remember the Kiddushin is a ceremony and period of sanctification. The cup is actually a prayer of sanctification. What’s the cup all about? His blood. His blood.
So let’s take a look at the cup. Exodus 24:6-8 talks about the blood of the covenant, the Old Covenant. The blood of the Old Covenant was the blood of goats and calves.
But God said that the Old covenant was broken. So He was going to make a New Covenant. Oh the precious cup that it will take to bring sanctification.
Matthew 26:27-29 states, “Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.””(Matthew 26:27-29 NIV)
In this passage, Jesus is referring to the third cup of the Passover meal which is called the cup of redemption.
The 4th cup is the cup of Praise. Jesus had to fulfill the cup of redemption first. It was the blood of the Covenant. His blood is the foundation of the Covenant. Hebrews 10:29 tells us that the blood of the Covenant sanctifies, it sets apart.
However, within the Passover ceremony – which Yeshua was celebrating that particular night – there is also a cup of sanctification. Remember, the Kiddushin is a ceremony of sanctification or a setting apart, complete with the cup of sanctification, the Kiddush. This is the first cup.
The cup of Plagues – representing the judgement of sin – is the second cup. The cup of sanctification, the first cup, is the one in which Jesus says, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”(Luke 22:17-18 NIV)
At this time of the Kiddush, at the taking of the cup, they have the blessing of the cup and it reads like this within the Kiddushin ceremony:
Holy One of Blessing, Your presence fills creation forming the fruit of the vine.
And then directly following that is the Birakat Yirusim or Betrothal Blessing and it reads:
Praised are you Adonai, Ruler of the Universe, Who has made us holy through your commandments and has commanded us concerning sexual propriety (a warning to the husbands) forbidding women who are merely betrothed, but permitting women who are married to us through Huppah and Kiddushin. (This is the part I love) Blessed are you Adonai, Who makes Your people Israel holy (sets them apart, makes them holy) through Huppah and Kiddushin.
At this point, finally at this point, we have the actual drinking of the cup. There is the cup of sanctification with the blessings and after the blessings comes the drinking of the cup or the taking in of that prayer of sanctification, that is only accomplished by His blood.
And of course, I’m going to say a word at this point about the Bride because it is at this point that the veil comes back. She has to drink of the cup and so the veil must come back. Guess what… we have an unveiling and there is someone specific who does it.
II Corinthians 3:13-16 says, “We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”(NIV)
Jesus removes the veil. That is His privilege. And of course, as soon as He died on the cross and shouted, “It is finished. Father into your hand I commend my spirit.” The veil at the holy of holies was ripped in half, literally ripped in half.
He removed the veil. So that when we come to Scripture, when we read our Ketubah, it’s precious to us, it is now a part of us and on our hearts and minds. It’s our marriage contract that He must fulfill, that He will fulfill. Not only is it precious to us, but He has also given us the ability to understand it. The veil no longer covers our hearts.
So we see that the Kiddushin so far includes the signing of the Ketubah, the Kiddush (the cup of sanctification), and the removal of the veil. We have two more parts of the Kiddushin to look at. We will do so in two separate posts.
Set Apart for Him,
- The Marriage Mikvah (estherslegacy.com)