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The Home for Christian Writers! Matthew 6:33
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30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."
32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
The gospel of Christ is, as Paul often wrote, a great mystery. To those who seek philosophical logic, the death of the Son of God is foolishness. "Why should God die for sinful man?" they ask. And to those seeking signs and wonders, the death of Christ seems an end to their hopes for a grand and glorious redemption from their lives of toil and pain. But it is the Resurrection that brings true hope and that shows the glory of the Cross. Jesus' death was an act of ultimate love, a sacrifice designed by God for the salvation of all who would believe.
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
"For God so loved the world..." For THAT reason, Jesus left His Father God and His mother Mary, and became as one of us, married to us in the form and the weaknesses of our flesh. Jesus became subject to our same temptations, our same need for food, our same need of shelter, our same dusty road to death. And yet Jesus endured temptation without falling into sin. He fasted from food and yet strengthened Himself. He had no place to rest His head and yet He looked ahead to returning to His true home with the Father. He carried His Cross and yet defeated death. Yes, He became one of us, but He handled it so much better than we do!
Jesus chose this thing, drank this bitter cup of our redemption. He became one with us, His church of believers, so that in His becoming one with us we may also become one with HIM, to partake of His glory, to know His eternal life. Only through Jesus Christ could such a marriage lead to redemption and life.
2 Timothy 2:11-13
11 This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
12 If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
13 If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.
Jesus "cannot deny Himself." What does that mean? If we, through the death of Christ, have become one with Him through His marriage to us, then we are one in Spirit and body. Christ cannot be unfaithful to the bride that is in Him, cannot deny His own flesh. He is faithful even when we are not.
Just as He has become one with us through His life and death, so also are we one with Him in His Resurrection. But if He suffered, if He died to self to become salvation for us all, if He endured the disgrace of the Cross for the glory set before Him, then so must WE expect to do the same. This marriage to Christ means we are ONE flesh, and so we should not be surprised that we may suffer for the gospel. We should not be amazed that we are despised and rejected, that the message of repentance and salvation is mocked, that our very flesh may be subject to His same wounds. Yes, by His wounds we are healed, but that does not mean that in this life we will not be poured out as a drink offering for the sake of the gospel. Our trials in this life were once the result of our sins, but if we live in Christ, then the trials we endure in the name of the gospel are all to God's glory.
In being wedded to Jesus, we join with our Lord and Savior--the head of this body, the Husband of this bride--and know that we shall be with Him in His kingdom. It will take perseverance and faith, and we must never deny Him, never seek to divorce ourselves from Him. We must, just as Jesus has done, leave father and mother and be joined to Him as one flesh, married to Him in Spirit and in truth. In our spiritual marriage to Christ, we will likely walk the same road as He--a road marked with rejection and toil, and yet a road also marked with blessings and wonders. With Christ as our husband and Lord, we can know that we will travel a road with Him that leads past Calvary and past an empty tomb to the glory of eternal life with God.
Heavenly Father, let me always be faithful to Christ Jesus, the head of this body of believers and the bridegroom of this church. I know He awaits in glory for the arrival of His bride, and so, Lord God, let me be pure and holy for Him. Let me rid my life of worldly concerns and set my love and my hope upon Jesus, the perfecter of the faith I hold. Give me strength to travel whatever roads I must travel for Your Son, knowing that the sufferings of this life are but prelude to the joys of eternal life with my Savior and Lord. Amen.
© 2010 Glenn A. Pettit-Noel
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