Ephesians 5:21-33 is most famous for Paul’s revelation that Christ’s love for the Church is mirrored in marriage. In talking about how each person in the marriage is a unique person — even though they are united together as one flesh in marriage, Paul writes this: This unity of persons that preserves individuality is a mystery, but that is how it is when we are united to Christ (BCJ).
The ESV says it this way: Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
God set it up to be this way: Jesus wanted a bride and God, the father, wanted a family. The only way for a spotless bride was blood sacrifice. Scripture points to this reality throughout the Old Testament. Blood sacrifice for sin offering was the norm until Jesus split time in half and changed everything.
Jesus had to die and raise from the dead for the sins of everyone before he could get his spotless bride.
Song of Solomon 4 gives us a good look at the joy of God’s heart on the day of his wedding. “…the day of his wedding….the day of the gladness of his heart (4:11 ESV).”
Contemplating the Mystery
Those who are married may be able to connect with this mystery a bit better than those who are single.
In many of our weddings in the west the groom waits at the altar for his bride to walk down the aisle to him. I imagine it being a lot different with our marriage to the Bridegroom. I picture us–the bride–waiting at the altar for our Bridegroom–Jesus–to come to us.
His death on the cross was him choosing to bridge the gap and come to us in order to set us right.
The Mystery Gets Deeper
Just as a man and woman marry and consummate their marriage and life springs forth from their love, so it is with Christ. He consummated his love for us by placing inside us the Holy Spirit. God made his home inside us, making us a fruitful garden (Song of Solomon 4). The place inside us, that reservoir only God could have made, is a garden of delight–a place where we collide with God.
“I know my Lover is mine, and I have everything in you, for we delight ourselves in each other” says the Shulamite in Song of Solomon 2:16.
We call out to him and call him our beloved, and he responds and my beloved is mine!
That place on the inside is where you and God delight in one another. You are a garden!
Although this blog was short, it was designed like that for a reason. For some, this may take a while to contemplate and get it to sink in. For others, it may click right away. Meditate on this this week. Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you your bridal identity. Ask Jesus to whisper to you the sweet poetry of his love for you.