As recorded in Genesis 2, when God saw that Adam had no companion, he said: “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” So He took a bone from Adam’s rib and made woman as his helper.
Gen 2:23-24 [NIV]
23The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
24For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
Such is the mystery of Christ and His Bride. The Father will prepare for the Son a bride and, in great anticipation of the marriage, will have a feast. We are the Bride in preparation for the Son.
Jesus mentioned this on numerous occasions:
Matt 22:1-4 [NIV]
1Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
4“Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’”
The wedding that is spoken of is that of the Son and His Bride. The servants of God are to betroth others to God as they become believers of Christ, as did John the Baptist and Paul.
Paul explained this in Ephesians when addressing the subject of the relationship between a husband and wife:
Eph 5:25-32 [NIV]
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
When two people marry, they enter into a covenant with one another as husband and wife. In the Jewish tradition, this takes at least two major steps – betrothal and marriage. After a woman is betrothed to a man, she begins the process of preparation for that marriage. This picture is a shadow of what God the Father is doing in us as the Bride of Christ.
When, by faith in Christ, we become part of His Body, we are then set apart for the marriage. A work of sanctification or purification is then unfolded and carried out by the Holy Spirit on the Father’s behalf.
This is post is _Part 2_ in the series The Body of Christ and our Role in It. To continue with this series, click on Pt 3. To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading the explanation of this series and Pt 1.
Photo credit: mistaken poet