The Blood Dowry
- Paul by the Holy Spirit makes it clear that we are the marital bride of Jesus Christ (Eph 5:25-32).
- This theme is throughout the Bible, especially the idea of spiritual adultery (Is 54:5; 62:4-5; Jer 3:1-25; Ezek 16:1-63; Matt 9:15; 25:1-13; John 3:29; II Cor 11:2; Jas 4:4; Rev 19:7-8; 21:2,9; 22:17).
- Recent consideration of this fact from Psalm 45 and Song of Solomon 5:9-16 might discomfort you.
- Most any other consideration of men being a bride or wife should discomfort you, but not this one.
- Rather than unease – being Christ’s bride should excite you with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
- In preparation for communion, let us hone in on the fact that a metaphorical dowry was paid for us.
- While a dowry is not mentioned in the N.T., the marriage of Christ and His church most definitely is.
- While a dowry is not mentioned in the N.T., a redemption payment and buying purchase most surely is (Matt 20:28; Acts 20:28; I Pet 1:18; I Cor 6:20; Eph 1:14; I Tim 2:6; Titus 2:14; Rev 5:9; etc.).
- Recall, a bondmaid could be redeemed by another and married to him instead (Ex 21:8; Lev 19:20).
- For much more about redemption in both testaments.
What is a dowry?
A. In the Old Testament a dowry transaction was necessary to bring about a marriage.
B. It is the payment a man makes to the family of the woman he wants for his wife.
1. Jacob worked seven years, very much like a dowry, to get Rachel (Gen 29:18-20).
2. Shechem loved Jacob’s daughter Dinah enough to offer any payment (Ex 34:12).
3. David paid 200 Philistine foreskins to King Saul to get Michal (I Sam 18:20-27).
4. Israel’s price for a virgin was 50 shekels of silver (Ex 22:16-17; Deut 22:28-29).
5. This price compares to 30 shekels for a servant (Ex 21:32), as the case of Jesus.
6. This price compares to the redemption price of a man in his prime (Lev 27:3).
7. This price is only one-half the fine for falsely accusing a virgin (Deut 22:13-19).
C. A dowry had much wisdom to qualify young men and to compensate girls’ families.
1. If a young man did not have this money, he is hardly worthy to be a husband.
2. Girls helped on farms and losing them to other families deserved compensation.
D. Girls had to wait and hope that someone with sufficient assets would desire them.
E. Hindus, the benighted religious fools they are, reverse the dowry to corrupt marriage.
F. Hindu dowry idiocy leads to several evils.
Who wanted us as wife?
A. In God’s great drama of redemption, He has chosen us for the bride of His only Son.
B. We may trace Jesus Christ’s bride back from Eph 5:25-32 to Eph 1:22 to Eph 1:3-8.
C. God did not choose us because of our glory, but so that He could get Himself glory!
D. We had no beauty to cause pity or love, for we were of the same lump (Rom 9:21-24).
What kind of a dowry were we worth?
A. We had no value, for we were ugly, perverse, odious, filthy women beyond compare.
B. If this symbolic marriage required a virgin, we were defiled with Satan and the world.
C. We had no hope or reason to ever be married … but to be slaves of Satan (Eph 2:1-3).
D. He was the strong man who had us in his palace, and we liked it there (Luk 11:20-21).
E. There was no earthly reason or human logic to have spent a single dime for any of us.
F. Yet worse, a legal claim against us required our death three ways – body, soul, eternal.
G. There was every reason to leave you loving the devil with his eternal home yours also.
To whom was the dowry paid?
A. The dowry was paid to God’s justice, by which Satan had an eternal claim against us.
B. In the plan of redemption, God is seen in several roles – God, Judge, Father, etc., etc.
C. There is a sense in which we were the devil’s slave, but the dowry freed us from him.
D. A great redemption was paid to satisfy infinite justice and buy us everlasting beauty!
What was the dowry price?
A. The dowry was the blood of God’s Son, the life of His Son to release us for marriage.
B. Precious metals gold and silver cannot compare to His precious blood (I Pet 1:18-20).
C. God so loved us and desired His Son to have us that He bruised and killed His Son.
D. If this makes little marital sense, you are right. God’s desire for holy drama inspired it.
E. The end goal was not a sensible transaction, but one of infinite grace for equal praise.
Who remembers the dowry was paid?
A. God remembers by our names being written in the book of Life of the Lamb slain.
B. Jesus lives forever to intercede for us, reminding His father like a priest of the dowry.
C. He will save to the uttermost, not losing a single one, all that God gave Him to wife.
D. The great price was paid and accepted, and nothing can separate us from His family.
Did the dowry leave any wealth for pleasure?
A. If a poor family scraped together a dowry or borrowed for it, the future could be bleak.
B. With God His Father, there is an inheritance of things beyond imagination (I Cor 2:9).
C. Jesus has been promoted to the right hand of glory and rules over heaven and earth.
D. We shall sit with Him in His throne and rule with Him over the nations. Get used to it!
Is the Father still committed to the marriage?
A. A father could buy a wife for his son and let them struggle through life themselves.
B. A father could buy a wife for his son and require a prenuptial to deny further claims.
C. He reasoned that having given His Son He will surely give everything else (Ro 8:32).
D. He wrote His will so we are joint-heirs together of all things with His Son (Rom 8:17).
What is the Lord’s Supper?
A. The event He chose for us to remember the price He paid in order to marry us forever.
B. The new covenant, represented by the cup, is by the metaphor our marriage covenant.
C. Our weddings: With this ring I thee wed. Our Lord says, With this blood I thee wed!
D. We strictly judge those at His Table, for no one deserves it but faithful, loving brides.
E. The bride of Christ is His church, a congregation, a large number, thus communion.
What is the effect of such a dowry?
A. We should be chaste virgins, individually and church, for our Husband (II Co 11:2-3).
B. With such love shown and such a price paid, spiritual adultery is profane (James 4:4).
C. Consider just ferocity threatened to Hebrews if they backslid to Moses (He 10:26-31).
D. The love of Jesus Christ for us should constrain us to any obedience (II Cor 5:14-15).
1. Let us come to communion with unmitigated love and appreciation for Him who made us His bride.
2. Let the Bible and its metaphorical representations of God’s love for us inflame your heart forever.
3. Let Bible references to us as Christ’s bride be precious, not uncomfortable (Eph 5:25-32; Ps 45).
For Further Study:
- Sermon Outline: The Glory of the Cross [See many links at bottom!].
- Sermon Outline: Facets of Salvation.
- Sermon Outline: Redemption through His Blood.
- Sermon Outline: I Have Found a Ransom.
- Sermon Outline: Unsearchable Riches of Christ.
- Sermon Outline: He Is Altogether Lovely.
- Sermon Outline: World’s Greatest Lover.