In a land far away, in a time long ago, God fell in love. He had been lonely for a long time. It's hard to imagine that God could feel alone, as we know He is all powerful, but He needed a friend, a bosom friend, one He could really communicate with one-to-one, who would know what He meant, someone who knew His heart. He wanted a friend who wouldn't let anything come between them, who wouldn't mistrust Him under any circumstances.
God had such a friend in Abraham. And Abraham loved God so dearly that he would even give his own beloved son rather than let anything come between him and God. Such a rare thing to find — someone who won't mistrust you, no matter what.
And God soloved him that He Himself made a covenant with Abraham. He could have just made a promise (surely His word was binding enough), but He went beyond just a promise. The oath that He made was self-cursing, meaning that if He didn't fulfill His part of the covenant He would be split asunder as the animals He passed between had been split in two.1
Thus, "I AM" (YHWH) bound His whole existence to keeping His oath to Abraham, and Abraham's eternal prosperity and well-being was irrevocably bound to God. Obviously,God knew Abraham's heart through and through. He trusted him completely, or He would hardly have bound Himself in a covenant to him, and not only to him, but to his seed -- those that would love Him with the same unfailing, absolute love.
Abraham's sons became the nation of Israel, and YHWH's love did not fail. The only way to express the depth of His love and commitment is to say that He betrothed Himself to Israel as a Husband to a Bride.2 He drew her with love, treated her with kindness and adorned her with wisdom. He forgave her sins so that she could serve Him in holiness, meaning undefiled by any other loves, even the love of self.
And His Son, Yahshua, knew the same pain; He and His Father were one.
Yahshua's love for His bride, the Church, the new spiritual Israel, was the greatest love story ever told. He would redeem His Bride from the powers of death, more surely than any knight in shining armor had ever rescued a damsel in distress. She was held in bondage because Death had a claim on her. Death would not release her without aransom. Who could pay the ransom, except He who had no lien on His life?5 He had no payment to make to Death of His own account. He need never have faced the anguish of death for His own sake.
Only love could move someone to embrace the condition and sufferings of another, to do more than just offer a helping hand.
And He did love. He took total identity with her, even to the ultimate point of being rejected by His own Father6 when He took her guilt and sin upon Himself. He endured the unspeakable agony of death for three days and three eternally long nights,7 alone, without His Father's presence; alone, without the Comfort of the Holy Spirit; alone, burdened with all the guilt of everyone, even the guilt of those who would hate and despise Him for what He had done. His love wasn't limited to those who would love Him in return. He endured an agony that cannot be imagined, because of joy8 -- the joy of a Bride who would love Him without fail.
This Bride is a spiritual nation of twelve tribes, being faithful where old Israel had not been faithful.9
But just as Israel of old, Messiah's Bride was unfaithful. Even after all He had done for her, she wandered away in her heart. He had to write her a letter, telling her that she had left her first love. He was on the outside of her heart, knocking, asking to being admitted.10
And worst of all, she broke her covenant of betrothal and married another husband.11 Instead of being the home of the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures say she became a dwelling place for every unclean spirit.12
This would all be unbearably sad except for the hope of restoration.13
If only Yahshua could finally have a Bride who would love Him with the devoted, affectionate, loyal-to-the-end love, a people who would respond to His love, and love others as He did, without a thought for self. Surely His love warrants this kind of love in return.
He can't do any more than what He did, but who will respond? Who has the same heart as Abraham?
In this, the last century of human history, YHWH has again sent His Holy Spirit to earth to a people gathered together in twelve tribes, living together in unity, who aspire to be His Bride. He is sitting at the edge of His throne waiting for her to make His enemies a footstool for His feet.14
Right now, in this present age, is when she is making herself ready,17 not tolerating anything unclean, not waiting for some magic, but coming to the same stature as her betrothed Husband.18 She makes herself compatible in every way by taking on His heart,19 to have one heart and one way,20 to love as He loved,21 to be as Abraham was.22 And this, only this, will bring the end of this wicked and evil age.23