In my last post, I tackled the betrothal and how our relationship with God is just like the ancient Jewish betrothal ceremonies. Now we will talk about the actual marriage itself.
God set up marriage as a covenant between man, woman, and Himself during His creation of the woman. In Genesis 2:21-23 we read, “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Thus, with the presentation of Eve to Adam, we have the first marriage ceremony. Notice how marriage is defined in the Bible: a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be “one flesh”.
Here is the amazing thing about God and the metaphor for marriage. Jesus left His Father in heaven when He became fully human and died for our sins; He left His mother on earth when He was crucified and died on this earth. He did this all to “cleave” to His “wife” the Church, which is all those who believe in Him as Messiah and Lord.
In John 14:19-23, Jesus states: “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
Later, Jesus promises to send them the Comforter who will bring all things to their remembrance; He is talking of the Holy Ghost. When we accept Christ into our lives, we become “one flesh” with Him and the Father. He lives inside us through the Holy Ghost. Thus we are in a marriage covenant with God, and He will return to receive us back to himself that where He is, we may be there as well. A bridegroom doesn’t leave his bride at the altar, after all, and even if one may, God would never leave His bride there. He paid a high price to win her back to Himself at the cross, after all: His own death.