Saturday, September 15, 2012

How Marriage Pictures Christ

Watchman Nee, in his book The Normal Christian Life, got me thinking about an interesting topic. In Ephesians 5, Paul is writing about marriage. In verse 31 he quotes from Genesis 2:24 which says, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." In the next verse he says an amazing thing. He says that this is a mysterious thing but that he is speaking about Christ and the church.

So the amazing thing is not so much that a man and his wife become one flesh, but Christ and his church become one flesh. Watchman Nee points out that this is one of the few, or perhaps the only time when Christ is viewed as fulfilling a pre-fall event. When Eve was created, God put Adam to sleep and from him he created his wife. Adam said, "This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh."

Jesus also, in his death and burial slept in a sense. He actually had died, but sometimes in Scripture death is referred to as sleep. Out of that death and subsequent resurrection and ascension, the church was born. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:30 "For we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones." He uses similar terminology that Adam had used -- "flesh" and "bones".

Jesus uses a different metaphor in John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." Our life and effectiveness are determined by how much of his life is at work in us.

Jesus, through his death, resurrection, ascension, and pouring out of his spirit has multiplied himself over and over in the church. Christians are part of Christ and he continues to live and move and be active in the world through us.

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