Read |Ephesians 5: 22 - 33|
God once again shows His faithfulness, causing frosty winter to give way to the pulsating life of Spring. While every new season is essentially the mark of a new beginning, Spring has a special place in the hearts of people. In it we find new zeal to implement the findings of our winter reflections, decluttering our lives and making new commitments. Typical in its months are plans to wed. And as I stroll through freshly sprouted gardens, my heart is stirred to consider a wedding planned long before the foundation of the world was laid: the wedding between Jesus Christ and His bride, the Church.
“‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5: 31 - 32, CSB).
A Man will Leave his Father and Mother
Over 2000 years ago God entered the womb of a virgin and made His appearance into the world in the flesh. Jesus was born. From the invisible realm He appeared. A prophecy fulfilled. The Word made flesh. (John 1:1). A body prepared. (Hebrews 10: 4 - 6). God with us, and away from His heavenly home. A man will leave his father.
Although Jesus was physically away from His heavenly abode, in His inner-man He was one with His Father. So intimately intertwined were they that every thought, emotion, choice, word, action of His was an outflow of their one-to-one fellowship. (John 15: 19 - 20).
Yet propelled by love, He made the journey to the cross, one step at a time. (1 John 4:10). There the spotless lamb of God became sin, who knew no sin, so that He could draw near to His bride. (2 Corinthians 5:21). Willingly, He entered the penalty for our sin - death, hell and the grave. A man will leave his father. (Matthew 27:46).
And in His death, He also departed from His mother. (John 19: 25 - 27).
United to His Wife
God being just, did not leave Jesus’ body to decay. On the third day He was resurrected by the Spirit of God. (Acts 2: 22 - 31). And He now sits at the right hand of the Father beckoning by His Spirit, all who would, to come, take eat, drink and be made well in Him. (John 6: 53 - 58). And all who feast on Him by faith have been drawn near by His blood, are being washed in the Word and have been joined one to another by His Spirit to form the body He loves. (Ephesians 5: 22 - 30 & 1 Corinthians 12: 12 - 13). This body, once disparate parts joined together by His Spirit, in one faith and under one God. (Ephesians 4: 4 - 6). This body, He affectionately calls His bride, over which He is the head. (Ephesians 5: 23). The two have become one, because He left His Father and mother to cleave to her.
Do You Love the Body God Loves?
It is said that the worth of something is determined by how much one is willing to pay to secure it. The bride’s price was the life of Jesus. Truly she is precious in His sight. But, she is not perfect as we count perfect. She is still the sum of souls that have come to Jesus because He is life and they were helpless apart from Him. And the parts, though healed by His stripes, still suffer with the phantom symptoms of their life outside of Him. Each part is pressing towards the mark. Each part is groaning, as it awaits the final redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23). The bride is a work finished, at the same time that she is a work in progress. And the love of Jesus is hers from start to finish--unwavering.
Let us have our heart’s affection set by God’s perfect thoughts. Let us bear patiently as He works to bring us all--the sum of us--to perfection. Let us be kind. Let us not envy. Let us not be boastful. Let us not be arrogant. Let us not be rude. Let us not be self-seeking. Let us not be irritable. Let us not be unforgiving. Let us not rejoice in what is evil. Let us be forgiving. Let us rejoice in the truth. Let us have godly expectation. Let us be unwavering in our hope. Let us endure that we might, together, receive what is promised. (1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 7).
Meditate and Worship:
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. She leads the Be-Held Community: a group of women seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God’s Word together.