In ancient times, a suitor was expected to pay the bride’s family a hefty price in order to receive her hand in marriage. The most familiar examples of this tradition come from the stories in the Old Testament about Jacob (with Rachel) and David (with Michal). In each of these stories, the father of the bride established or agreed upon the bride price, and the groom paid the price without hesitation. In fact, both Jacob and David went above and beyond the agreed upon price because of their love for their chosen brides.
…Just as Jacob and David’s love compelled them to do whatever it took to acquire their chosen brides, Jesus Christ did the same for us, His spiritual bride. Keep in mind that Jesus wasn’t simply negotiating the price of one individual, but for all of us corporately, for all eternity. So what price did He pay? No amount of money could possibly have made that kind of purchase. The price had to be exorbitant. It had to have cost Him everything. And it did. It cost Him His life. Yet, He paid the price willingly.
Just hours before He died, Jesus fell face down on the ground in the Garden of Gethsemane and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine” (Matthew 26:39, italics mine). The price being demanded of Him was difficult to submit to, but Jesus agreed to submit nonetheless. He demonstrated His willingness to pay the price a second time when He scolded Peter for cutting off the right ear of the soldier who tried to arrest Him. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup the Father has given me?” (John 18:10-11, italics mine).
Jesus paid a high price for each one of us. He drank the cup. He offered His very life to purchase His beloved spiritual bride, to purchase you and me. I wonder, what will you do with the communion cup next time it is offered to you? Knowing that it is not just a sip of wine or grape juice, but a symbol of Jesus’ marriage proposal, will you refuse it? Or will you drink it, accepting His proposal and offering your life to Him in return? Will you agree to embrace your role as His spiritual bride?
Excerpted from Completely His: Loving Jesus Without Limits by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.