This article is drawn from our new book “Hope Fulfilled: Our Journey to Marriage”. The book takes you through Sarah and Enoch’s journey of receiving a promise from God and yet having to wait many years to see it come to pass. It also dedicates an entire section to looking at the links between ancient Jewish wedding customs and the teachings of Jesus (Yeshua) about End Times. To illustrate this significance, the marriage of Tali and Brayden Waller is given as an example.
Marriage is intended to be a picture of a far greater reality: the love of the Messiah for His Bride—us, His chosen people. In this way, each marriage, each love story, and even the longing to find a mate, I believe, is intended by God to point us to a far greater love story.
To further understand the prophetic symbolism of marriage, we turn to the modern day story of Brayden and Tali Waller who chose to go through a uniquely prophetic journey to marriage. This young couple—with the blessing of their parents—hosted a beautiful and emotional betrothal ceremony attended by family and friends. After the couple pledged their love to each other, washed each other’s feet, publicly read their marriage ketubah (covenant) and shared in communion together, the ceremony ended on a sad note as Brayden solemnly rose to his feet to announce that he was leaving.
The camera followed Tali’s face as Brayden left the room, and from that point onwards, the young couple had no direct face to face contact until the time of their marriage ceremony. Being a builder, Brayden quite literally went to work on building their future house during this waiting period.
[Yeshua] loves you intensely and passionately and is more excited over you than you can ever imagine.
As the months went by, it was increasingly evident how much Tali was yearning and longing to be with her future husband. Finally Brayden completed the house and arrangements were made for the families on both sides to spend a week at a camping ground. In keeping with the ancient Jewish tradition, the groom would appear at an unspecified time during the week and the bride would have to make sure she was ready. The excitement and longing was increasingly intense during this week, until finally everyone heard the sounding of the shofar (trumpet) echoing through the camp grounds. The crowd quickly gathered at the appointed meeting place, waiting in anticipation for what was about to happen next. Gasps and applause arose from the crowd as they spotted in the distance the groom himself, riding on a stunning white horse and flanked by his groomsmen carrying their shofars.
Arriving at the crowd, Brayden descended from his horse and embraced his beloved, Tali. As Brayden and Tali finally met again, they quite simply couldn’t stop smiling as they gazed into each other’s eyes. Finally the journey was complete, the separation was over and they would now spend the rest of their lives together.
The Waiting Period
You and I are like Tali, waiting for our future bridegroom. But unlike Tali, we are waiting for the most glorious bridegroom of all history, Jesus: One who loves us with the greatest love ever possible.
Having just got married myself, I know that at a wedding, it is not just the bride who is excited. The groom can hardly wait to finally see and be with His beloved bride. Jesus has been waiting all this time for His Father to give Him the go ahead to go and fetch His beloved bride—you. He loves you intensely and passionately and is more excited over you than you can ever imagine. He can’t wait to see you, clothed in white and in splendour, and to be with you.
He is Faithful and Just
Yet many Christians walk through life with their heads bowed in shame. They feel condemned over their past, they feel inferior, and some even feel like failures. They may have heard that Jesus is coming, but their guilt and shame hinders them from embracing His return with the confident excitement of a bride.
One of my favourite Scriptures which helped me overcome this issue is found in 1 John 1:9:
“…if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
As I have pondered this Scripture over the years, I agreed that God is faithful to forgive our sins as we confess them but I kept stumbling over the part of the verse that says that He is “just” to forgive our sins. “What is just about forgiving me?” I thought to myself. “After all, justice would demand that I would pay for my sins.”
One day I unexpectedly found the answer to my question at a local coffee shop. I had met a friend for coffee, and when I went to pay, the shopkeeper declined my payment, saying it had already been paid. I asked my friend and she hadn’t paid for it either. It turned out that an unknown person had paid in advance for me to have that coffee.
Reflecting on this, I realised that the shopkeeper could not have received my payment for the coffee. That would have been unjust as it had already been paid for. In the same way, God can’t accept my payment for my sins because they have already been paid for. In this way, God’s justice is satisfied and I receive unmerited and undeserved forgiveness.
This verse has been a life-changer for me, by removing shame and condemnation, and giving me confidence in the Lord.
Waiting with Expectation
We can therefore have assurance that we are forgiven and that we are now clothed in those beautiful white robes of righteousness, ready for our heavenly wedding day. From Heaven’s perspective, you and I are truly part of the glorious bride and our heavenly bridegroom can’t wait to see us when He returns.
May that Day come soon!