Text: Matthew 9:14-17
Alright a question, or more like an accusation, about fasting comes up. And just like most accusations there is some exaggeration here. You NEVER do this and I ALWAYS do this. But that’s not true. Now, here’s the Lord’s answer, why would my disciples fast when it’s a time of celebration? The Lord follows that rhetorical question up with two elements of a wedding.
Christ is the Bridegroom
- Isaiah 54:4-5, 10-14 – the work of Jesus Christ is evident from the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel being the husband to the covenant of peace in verse 10 which brought about the good news (gospel) of peace with God. And as the Lord talks about the foundation he is building in verses 11-12 (I go to prepare a place for you) he says righteousness will be the foundation of it in verse 14.
- Hosea 2:14-23 – speak comfortably (Comfort ye my people) called Ishi (my husband) not Baali (my lord).
- John 3:29 – It is John’s disciples that ask the question so the Lord explains with a reference from John’s own preaching. And note this, what John is to the nation of Israel in espousing the nation of Israel to the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul will be to the Gentiles in espousing us to the Lord Jesus Christ in 2 Corinthians 11:2.
Next, let’s see the pictures the Lord uses. These analogies of old and new in regards to the new not fitting into the old go right along with Christ being the husband, the bridegroom. What to wear and what to drink are part of wedding planning. The old and the new are two covenants – old and new.
- Old covenant was given by the Word 1400 years before the Word became flesh as the man Christ Jesus.
- It was administered by Moses in Exodus 19:5 to the nation of Israel.
- It had the blood of bulls and goats to make temporary atonement for sins.
- Old covenant will end with the nation of Israel under its curse because every Israelite would be a sinner under the law, Galatians 3:10-11.
- Only two covenants, old and new, and the old is inferior to the new. Look at Galatians 4:24 for Paul’s explanation.
- New cloth won’t work on old garments.
- New wine won’t work in old bottles.
- Jeremiah 31:31-34 – Now, this will explain the work of the Holy Spirit of God after the new covenant has been enacted. The same husband to the nation of Israel that established the old covenant with Moses’ administration would come and establish a new covenant himself, a better covenant with better promises according to Hebrews 8:6.
- Hebrews 7:14-19, 22, 8:6-13, 9, 10:4-10
- What does this mean for Gentiles who are not Israelites? Ephesians 2:11-18, 5:23, Romans 7:1-6.
Jesus Christ is the bridegroom. The new covenant in his blood, clothed in the righteousness of God doesn’t fit into the old covenant and it isn’t appropriate to try to make it fit.