The second chapter of the book Echoes of His Presence is about the bridegroom. It followed a story of a young man who was preparing a home off of his father’s house for his bride. Some amazing connections were made here:

The groom’s father paid a generous price to the bride’s father for the loss of his daughter.

Wine was poured and the young man would drink from the cup and offer it to the potential bride. If she accepted it, they were betrothed or engaged. If she refused, the deal was off. Once a young man was engaged he would go and prepare a place for his new family. The betrothed bride would wear a veil and she would wait expectantly for her bridegroom for she didn’t know the day or the hour he would come. She would be preparing and readying herself for the consummation of her upcoming marriage.

Meanwhile the bridegroom did not know the day or the hour as well, only his father knew. The young man worked feverishly with expectant longing to the day of his marriage to his bride. When his father revealed the day, the trumpet (shofar) would sound and the bridegroom would come for his bride and she would heed to be ready.

This picture of Jesus and his bride (the church) reveals more about the implications of communion and patiently waiting consummation. When we are offered the cup of the new covenant in Jesus’ blood, we can either accept it and be betrothed to Christ or we can reject it and the deal’s off… it’s our choice. If we do accept it, we enter the waiting season with expectant hope of our bridegroom’s return, and we are to prepare ourselves to be the kind of bride our bridegroom wants amidst forgiveness and lavish grace.

The bridegroom has done and accomplished everything!

Our bridegroom is preparing a place and even he doesn’t know the day or the hour of his return… so we wait and prepare.

Ray Vanderlaan does a phenomenal job bringing the first century in Palestine to life for a modern reader in Echoes of His Presence. He also brings a depth of understanding of the Scriptures as to how Jesus would have understood Jesus.