One of the great mysteries in Christian writings is the depiction of Jesus as the bridegroom and his follower as the potential bride of Jesus. This model for the seeker of Jesus is very powerful and rich with teachings. Still, its understanding requires putting a little effort into pulling a number of pieces together. Jesus was aware of the importance of the concept of the bride. For instance, in describing the kingdom of Heaven, he compared it to virgins awaiting their bridegroom.
St. Paul and St. John of the Cross
Saint Paul further reinforced the concept of the bride of Jesus. He stated that, “I have espoused you to one husband, that I might present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” What this relationship might be as a bride was suggested by the Catholic mystic and poet, St. John of the Cross. He wrote the beautiful short poem, Dark Night of the Soul, describing the climbing of a hidden inner ladder to experience love as the bride of Jesus.
This teaching of the early Christians of becoming a bride of Jesus represented quite a step forward in the history of religion that is little understood even at this date. Therefore, to re-introduce this powerful yet forgotten precept, it is important to take a quick review of Western religion in a somewhat unique manner.
Sacrifice of the Self
The discussion starts with the consideration of ancient human sacrifices that will eventually lead to the sacrifice of the self in marriage to Jesus as Truth. Most historians approach the early sacrificial rites as being only superstitious practices to bribe some imaginary god. However, ritual sacrifice is a science and also involves practical considerations.