Why Israel is God's demo for what marriage ought to be and salvation is still from the Jews
The Mystery of Israel as the Bride
read below and then click here for the introductory slide show The Mystery of the Bride © (752KB)
Consider the following key-passages for this theme:
| Gen 2:24
|| This is how things were 'in the beginning.'
| Deut 4:5-9
|| No other nation on earth had the priviledge of God's nearness, covenant and calling to demonstrate the uniqueness of his laws and prescriptions 'in the sight of the peoples.'
| Jer 3:14
|| God describes his relationship to his people as that of a husband to his wife
| Ex 19:3-5; Jer 31:31-32
|| From the beginning at Sina´, God's covenant with his people was to be a (Jewish) marriage contract involving faithfulness (Hebr. ketubah)
| Eze 16:1-14, 15-32
|| This is the most graphic description of God's relationship to his people Israel and Israel's history as a nation
| Hos 2:19-20; 11:8-9
|| The prophet Hosea presents God as a faithfully loving husband in his yearning for a faithful wife
| Isaiah 53
|| In spite of Israel's unfaithfulness, God promises to purchase her back with a bride price which is the shedding of the blood of the Bridegroom Messiah in his death as atonement for her sins; also, in his promised resurrection the betrothal covenant is to be renewed
| Is 54; Is 56:7; Mark 11:17
|| God espouses again Zion, the Bride who is compared to a tent whose stakes have been broadened, a house of prayer for all nations
| Jeremiah 31:31-37
|| The promised renewed covenant with betrothed Israel will stand the test of time
| Isaiah 49:5-6; Isaiah 59:20; Rom 11:16-27
|| Servant Messiah is promised a bride in Israel that is sanctified and augmented according to God's original plan to gather from the nations as well, so all the branches can be grafted in the olive tree whether cultivated or wild
| Jeremiah 3:1-18
|| Since the bridegroom himself dies (bride price) in order to secure for Himself His bride in Zion, the cleansed remnants of Judah & Israel are to be united in the end
| Matt 22:2; 25:10; Luke 12:35
|| The Kingdom of Heaven/God is compared to a marriage relationship
| John 3:29
|| John The Baptist introduces 'the Bridegroom' to Israel
| John 17:6-26; Luke 12:35-37; Matt 24:44-47; Rev 19:6-8
|| Bridegroom Messiah prays for his firsfruit bride and the offspring church that will come after them, that they may be One and made ready for his return to share in His glory
| 2Cor 11:2
|| Incontrovertible evidence that the Apostle Paul applied this Jewish metaphor with the Bridegroom Spirit of "godly jealousy" to present the Corinthian church as a virgin bride
| Eph 2:11-22; Rom 11:16-24; Is 56:7; Mark 11:17
|| The legitimacy of Israel as the firstfruits bride enables the graft of wild gentile branches and the regrafting of the Jewish branch by faith that were once cut off due to unbelief
| Is 54:10; Acts 17:27-29; Matthew 16:18
|| We are the offspring promised by God to his Servant Messiah, also the church against whom the gates of hell shall not prevail
| Eph 5:23-32; 2:14
|| Marriage is compared to the relationship between the Messiah/Christ and his (composite) Church as the Bride
| Revelation 5:9
|| Final confirmation that the bride price was the shedding of the blood of the Bridegroom Messiah
| Rev 19:7-9; 21:2,9; 22:17
|| the biblical key-theme that God wants to 'tabernacle among man' finds its climax in the marriage supper with the call of the Bride: 'the Spirit and the bride say (to the Bridegroom) "come!"'
||God's Word compares the relationship between husband and wife to the relationship that He wants to have with his people; conversely, the covenantal relationship that he wants to have with his people serves as the model of what a marriage relationship is to be. To make his point he uses the imagery of marriage between husband and wife, between Bridegroom and Bride. He presents himself as the husband (masculine) and he portrays his people as the wife/bride (female, assembly: Hebr. kehilah, Gr. ekklesia, the ones 'called out' ). The male/female components are not interchangeable. God is the initiator of the covenant, the bride as the redeemed community responds. Unfaithfulness is portrayed in terms of female harlotry. This theme runs through the whole of Scripture and culminates in the "marriage supper of the Lamb" (the Messiah) at the end of times. The meaning of the "Bride" is a purchased Israel remnant augmented by the "saved community" of gentile remnants from all tribes and nations all forming one Body, one New reconciled humanity that accepted Yeshua/Jesus as their Messiah. Since God is one (hebr. echad) who created man in his image as male and female to be one (hebr. echad), God has only one bride. Although he unites both male and female characteristics in his covenantal relationship, his role is that of the Bridegroom and his people are corporately the Bride. God's plan for Israel was that she should serve as the model for marital faithfulness as the standard for the nations. Her faithfulness was bought at a high price by the Bridegroom so that she remains an object lesson both in blessing and in judgment. She is first in both, receiving twice for her sins, as a warning to all nations. Messiah's promised first offspring is in Israel, and then through this first apostolic church more offspring come from among all nations whose calling is as secure as Israel's irrevocable calling. They together form the One Church as long as her Jewish roots are not severed and the wall of partition is not raised again. She is called Zion whose tent borders have been augmented and nothing will prevail against her. She is a bride, a redeemed people, a city and a house all in one. In this sense, we see Yeshua's prayer fulfilled that Jews and Gentiles within the Israel/Church become One New reconciled humanity in the end, the promised reward of God to his servant Yeshua who rebuilt the temple of God in three days as a house of prayer for all nations.
If you wonder why this imagery is so significant, look at Maud's 8 additional slide shows
on THE MYSTERY OF THE BRIDE. This mystery was only revealed in its fullness in the B'rit Hadashah (the New Testament) and has a lot of implications.
If you have comments, please look at the slide shows first and then add yours below. For a discussion on how far the 'Bridal Paradigm' (the biblical theme of Israel / the Church as the bride) should be applied to the individual
relationship between the believer and Jesus / Yeshua see here.