Monday, October 10, 2005

One hundred percent committed...

It'd be basically impossible for Jesus to be any more committed to the church. Just look at Ephesians 5.

We usually turn to Ephesians 5 to talk about marriage which is fine because it is about marriage, but it is also about something more than that. It's about Jesus and the church. What Paul is doing is comparing the relationship between a husband and a wife with the relationship between Jesus and the church.

That's why he says things like, in verse 23, "the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church..." and "Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church..." The reason he's comparing the relationship between a husband and wife with the relationship between Jesus and the church is because part of God's original purpose in designing the marriage relationship was to be a physical, real life illustration of Jesus' relationship with the church.

It's not like Paul chose this illustration out of the air.

Look at what Paul says in verse 31. He quotes Genesis 2:24 where God says, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." And then he explains, "This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." Genesis 2:24 in other words doesn't refer simply to a husband and wife, it also refers to Jesus and to the church.

As one pastor has put it, and I think helpfully: "...the meaning of human marriage is based on another great marriage designed by God in heaven before creation, namely the marriage of Jesus to the church..."

This is how one hundred percent committed Jesus is to the church: He has chosen the church to be His Bride.

You take what is to be the most committed, intimate human relationship...that relationship is designed by God to represent to us how committed Jesus is to the church. Now in the next several blogs, I want to think together about exactly what that means. What does all this tell us the extent of Jesus' commitment to the church?

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