The Betrothal Supper of Our Lord

by Ted Kyle

"But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage" (Luke 20:35).

Many assume from this verse that there is no marriage in heaven. But that is not true; there is marriage in heaven. What there is not, is marriage between men and women. The heavenly marriage is the spiritual union between Jesus Christ and His Bride, the church. If we belong to Him, then we are His bride-to-be, awaiting only His coming-or our going to Him-for the longed-for culmination of our desire.

It was the ancient custom, when a betrothal, or engagement, was made between a man and a woman, the families celebrated the occasion. It was a joyous occasion, marking the formal beginning of a marriage commitment which was to last as long as the couple lived. But before the betrothal was finalized, the Bride Price had to be paid. In some cultures the bride's family made the payment, giving her "dowery" to the groom's parents. In other cultures, the husband-to-be paid the Bride Price, in effect buying his intended from her parents. In Jesus' case, He alone was capable of paying the Bride Price-for it was nothing less than His blood, the blood of the Lamb of God, shed for the sins of the world.

So I suggest that our Lord announced His willingness to pay that price at that fateful final Passover Supper with His disciples. Of course, they failed utterly to understand. We are scarcely able to understand today, for everything the Son of God did is shrouded in mystery-beginning with the greatest mystery of all: God coming to earth to live among humans as a human.

Therefore, I believe that our Lord's Supper should serve to remind us, not only of His death-the Bride Price-but also of the coming of another Supper, which we longingly await: the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, when Christ returns to call out His own and invite them to His great feast on high. "Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Rev. 19:9). All praise to our Savior and our God! His table awaits us.

Ted Kyle is managing editor of Pulpit Helps.