“For you have been bought with a price…” I Corinthians 6:20
Lord, You have chosen me, and You loved me when I didn’t love You. I am in awe that You would leave your heavenly home to pursue a relationship with me. You laid down your life for me, and You did before I even knew You existed. My life has not been the same since I accepted your invitation to be in a relationship with You. Your love is amazing; it goes far beyond what my mind can comprehend. I worship You Lord, and I am grateful for your love. You are a good, good Father, and I am loved by You. My soul magnifies the Lord, for He has done great things. His love for me reaches far above the heavens and His righteous goes far beyond the seas. Lord, thank you for choosing me to be your precious Bride!
Joshua was shocked by Joseph’s set bride price. “Esther’s bride price is payment in full of all her debts. She will not marry until all of her accounts have been settled.”
Joshua agonized over how he would meet Esther’s bride price; the enormity of her debts was troubling.
Joshua was well versed in the law for obtaining a bride. For his marriage to be legal, he would need to present Esther with something of great value and a marriage covenant. A significant part of the marriage covenant was the bride price, which he would commit to pay in full.
The family business was prosperous, and Joshua had managed to put away a modest savings, but it wasn’t enough to cover the amount of the bride price. To acquire enough funds to satisfy Esther’s entire debt, he would need to part with something of great value.
In his community, it was common practice for a groom to sell a family heirloom to secure the funds needed to pay the price for his bride. Joshua’s heart ached because his family’s heirloom was the Book of Scriptures; the cost would be great. Sell the Book of Scriptures? The study of the words written in this book had become a way of life for Joshua. How would he survive without it? The Scriptures were the essence of his life.
In his mind, he began to recite the lessons he had learned while studying the Scriptures with his father under the oak tree. A bride has great worth; Proverbs taught him a good wife was worth far more than rubies, and she was a gift from the Lord. Joshua spent many sleepless nights wrestling with these principles and with the enormity of Esther’s debts.
Finally, he was ready to speak with his father again. He found Joseph in the wood shop working on a new piece of furniture. “Father,” he said. “I have wrestled for many days and nights. The only way I am able to secure the necessary funds to pay Esther’s bride price is to sell our family’s Book of Scriptures that has been in our family for generations.”
“I see,” said Joseph.
“Father, if I sell this precious heirloom, what will become of our time together each week? The times we have spent under the old oak tree are precious in my heart. You have taught me great lessons, and you have shown me how to be a godly man. How can I give up this closeness?”
Joseph kept working, but listened as Joshua continued.
“And what will become of my studies? The time I have spent studying has helped me understand the Father and His ways. I fear the price is set too high, and the cost is too great.”
Joseph stopped working and placed his hands on Joshua’s shoulders. “Son, the time has come for you to tell me your decision. Will you take Esther for your bride? Will you give up what is precious to you, that she would be released from the burden of her great debts? Will you drink the cup of the wedding covenant with her?”
Joshua stepped away from his father and ran his hands through his hair. He knew his father wanted an answer, but did he have the strength to make the right choice? Could he love Esther the way he knew she needed and deserved to be loved?
“My son, I know the price is great,” Joseph said quietly. “I chose Esther for you because I know you are a man of great honor and integrity. To have her debts paid in full is the only way she will be free from the heavy burden she carries. No other man would assume her enormous debt, but you. I would ask no other to do it. I cannot make this decision for you; the choice is yours alone.”
Joshua went off to be alone. He fell to his knees under the old oak tree, the one where he and his father had spent many hours discussing the Scriptures, and cried out to his heavenly Father. When all the emotions welling up inside of him had been poured out, he wiped the tears from his eyes and quietly walked back to the house. His decision had been made.
Joshua tenderly took the Book of Scriptures from its honored place on the mantle. He would sell it. Esther’s full bride price would be paid; she would be his bride.
Jesus Paid the Ultimate Bride Price
If you are a believer in Jesus, God is your Father, and He has set a bride price for you. Your bride price is high because all your sins had to be completely forgiven. Jesus paid the full price with His life; His sacrifice was great.
Let’s follow Jesus into the garden to find out how Jesus paid the full price.
“And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives and the disciples also followed Him. When He arrived at the place, He said pray that you may not enter into temptation. And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and began to pray, saying, “father, if You are willing, remove this cup from me; yet not what I want, but Your will be done.” Luke 22:39-42
Jesus knew it would cost Him dearly to pay the bride price; the price the Father set for you was severe. It was higher than any bridegroom had ever been required to pay for his bride. In the Garden of Gethsemane, your Heavenly Bridegroom considered the cost set forth by your Father.
Can’t you imagine how Jesus struggled with the magnitude of the cost. Did He wonder if His chosen Bride was worth the price? He would be agreeing to give Himself to a Bride who did not yet know Him—did not yet love Him. Did your value equal the price of His life?
Let us continue in the garden.
“Now an angel from Heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. When he rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” While He was still speaking, behold, a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” Luke 22:43-48
As Jesus agonized in the garden, we can only imagine what was going through His mind. Perhaps He said something like this. “Father, thank you for the Bride You have chosen for me, but she comes with an enormous debt. I love her, and I know there is only one way to meet her bride price. I know I must drink the cup of the marriage covenant for her. I know I must give my life for her.”
The pain, torture, and utter humiliation Jesus would have to suffer was enough to make Him agonize and sweat drops of blood, but that’s not what tormented Him. He was in so much agony because He knew to accept this bride price meant total and complete separation from His Father. To pay the bride price meant He would experience all of God’s wrath.
Knowing all this, he knelt there, and said, “Yes, I love her that much. I will drink the cup for her. I will pay the full bride price—I will give My life for hers.”
What do you think Jesus was thinking that night in the garden? Can you imagine how He must have felt knowing He would be completely and totally separated from His Father? Join the conversation! Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you!
Remember, you are His!