Author: Ron Graham
—And the bride of Christ
Time —1. Promises to Abraham
Figures —Abraham Isaac Jacob
Begins with —God's call to Abram
Ends with —Jacob's family settling in Egypt
Christians are figuratively "married" to Christ (Romans 7:4). In some ways, our marriage to Christ is something like Rebekah's marriage to Isaac (Genesis 24), and Rachel's marriage to Jacob (Genesis 29).
1 Isaac's marriage to Rebekah
In Isaac's case, Isaac seemed to do little until right at the happy ending where he marries Rebekah and loves her (Genesis 24:67).
It was Abraham, Abraham's manservant, and Rebekah herself who seemed to make all the effort toward this marriage. All Isaac did was enter into the marriage.
This may be a parallel to your marriage (or conversion) to Christ. It may be that other people did a lot of work and went to a great deal of trouble in order to convert you. Their sacrificial, dedicated, and prayerful work brought Christ to you. All you had to do was accept him.
2 Jacob's marriage to Rachel
In Jacob's case the opposite was true. He had to go on a long journey, then work hard and long —14 years!— before he was permitted to marry Rachel (Genesis 29).
This may be the better parallel to your marriage (or conversion) to Christ. Perhaps you had to seek out Christ pretty much on your own. Perhaps other people, rather than helping you, put obstacles in your way. You had to labor and struggle against odds in order to join yourself to Jesus Christ.
3 Our marriage to Christ
There is another way to see these stories as parallels to conversion. Abraham's manservant has something in common with Jacob. Each man went to very great lengths of self sacrifice to bring about the marriage he was involved in. Both went on a long journey. Both were seeking to help God fulfil his promise. Both were faithful. Both paid a price.
In these two men, and in their desires and deeds, we can see a parallel to Jesus Christ.
- Seeking: Christ did so much for us. He left his home and came to seek us (Luke 19:10).
- Serving: He took the role of a Servant (Philippians 2:5-7, Zechariah 3:8).
- Suffering: He suffered much for us, paying a heavy price (Matthew 20:28; 1Timothy 2:5-6).
So we have become his beloved bride (Ephesians 5:25-30, Revelation 21:2).