The Romance And Passion Of God's Salvation
The content of this article contains some references to intimate details in marriage and its corresponding symbolism in Christian Salvation.
* all [bracketed] words in Scripture verses are mine *
I have never written anything about this aspect of Christian salvation. Our Lord and Savior gives us a depth to our life here in this body of flesh that we can barely comprehend, and in the heavens an eternity with Him, a depth of love that will make the intensity of this life pale in comparison. The Bible constantly uses references to parallel all facets of our relationship in marriage and our relationship to Him as saved Christians. We are called "the bride of Christ." We are told to love our wives and that we are one flesh. Marriage in all its aspects mirrors our relationship with Jesus. The following poem captures the intimacy that Jesus wants for our relationship with Him. He wants us to think of our life "in Christ" in these terms.
As I lay there and felt her 'neath my touch, half asleep, half awake
Naked and vulnerable under my hand, I thought, "husband love
Your wife like Christ loved loved the church and gave Himself
For her." With each caress, my touch told her that
Without a doubt she could trust me. She knew that if she gave
Herself to me, she would feel joy and fulfillment and peace that
Would rush through like a wild wave of the mighty ocean.
With intense care and patience, I traced small circles
Around intimate places and her excitement grew and I smiled
Because her body heard my cry of love for her in my fingertips.
And I thought, "like Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her."
I spend time with every curve, with every nerve,
No hurry, her speed, her rhythm, Her breath.
Time becomes non-existent because our love is eternal.
And I thought, "like Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her,"
For her. I waited.
I waited for her to respond to me. Hesitation became curiosity. Curiosity
Became excitement. Excitement became hot and breathless in its passion.
At that moment I was all there was in her universe, my love, my connection,
My caress, the electric heat of our embrace.
She opened for me. No more intimate act can a woman do, I thought,
And I thought, "like Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her."
She desired I come in that we become one in spirit, in mind, in heart,
And in body. And they two Became one flesh God had said.
The sweet bliss as I entered the heart of her essence was
Almost too much for me to comprehend, and I thought, "like Christ loved the
Church and gave Himself for her." I occupied space within her and she was
Surrounding and in me. Securely I held her, and in my heart, this moment
Would never end, she was mine forever, and I thought, "like Christ loved the
Church and gave Himself for her."
In the moments after, I held her, and I secured her, and I stayed as all faded
Into sleep. But I became restless, got up, and went out into a secluded
Place. Under the stars I knelt, and thanked Jesus and we had sweet
Communion under the stars with all laid bare before Him, and I realized
I am the bride and He is my husband. He holds me and loves me. He
Secures me and indwells me. He infuses passion, and joy impossible
To understand or describe. He loves me and others through me.
The picture is complete and I weep
In the awesome and mighty depth of His love.
Many times in Scripture God refers to Himself as a Husband to His people. In the book of Hosea, God says that Israel was being the unfaithful wife by joining herself to false gods. When I say "joining herself" I mean God used sexual terms to describe the disloyalty to Him. In God's mind, He and His people were in an intimate marriage covenant and He expected no adultery.
"Say to your brethren, 'My people' and to your sisters, 'Mercy is shown.' Bring charges against your mother [idolatrous Israel], bring charges; for she is not My wife, nor am I her Husband! [Israel had broken the marriage covenant with God] Let her put away her harlotries from her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts; lest I strip her naked and expose her, as in the day she was born, and make her a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst... She will chase her lovers, but not overtake them; yes she will seek them but not find them, then she will say, 'I will go and return to my first husband for then it was better for me then now.' [The symbolism here is that Israel, symbolically God's wife was not returning to Him out of love but for money and comfort to use God, not to have a wifely covenant relationship with Him.] For she did not know that I gave her grain, new wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold- which they prepared for Baal. Therefore I will return and take away My grain in its time and My new wine in its season, and I will take back my wool and my linen, given to cover her nakedness. Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall deliver her from My hand."
But God is a God of love. He does not want cut off His people forever. He is quick to forgive a repentant heart. He received His people back as they repented and never totally cut them (Israel) off from being His chosen people. We Christians are spoken of as a "grafted in" branch to Israel and we too have become "chosen" as the seed of Abraham. (Gal. 3:7)
"Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her the vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the day that she came up from the land of Egypt [an end-times prophecy regarding the nation Israel]. 'And it shall be in that day,' says the LORD, 'That you will call me, 'My Husband,' and no longer call Me, 'My Master,' for I will take from her the names of the Baals and they shall be remembered by there name no more. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and the birds of the air, and with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, to make them lie down safely. I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in loving kindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the LORD.
It is interesting that the words betroth, comfort (meaning tenderness between a married couple), Husband, and know is used. In the case of the last word know it is the same word used when the men of Sodom wanted to have sex with the angels sent to Lot. It is clear that this sexual reference is talking about the intimacy that God will have with His people Israel when the prophecy is fulfilled.
The Scriptural phraseology of marriage, husband, wife and bride is now continued into the new covenant set up by Christ when He came to earth. He purchased the redemption of every soul with His blood. By offering Himself up, He was proposing a marriage-type covenant relationship to each person individually, extended first to the Jew and then to all people on earth. Each individual would have the opportunity to accept His intimate relationship proposal or to reject it. The relationship would be as the covenant relationship of marriage. This offer was given "to the Jew first and then to the Gentiles." Christ said, "If I be lifted up [on the cross] I will draw all men to Myself."
"For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you." (Isaiah 62:5)
"I have come to my garden, my sister, my spouse; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk. [an example of proper passion in a marital relationship, its depth not comparable to that of the Lord and His bride, for our physical experience is but a shadow of what we have in
Christ.]" (Song of Solomon 4:10)
"For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I [Paul] have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. [Paul was saying that he worked hard to raise up a godly church and it was as if he was arranging a marriage between this group and Christ, Christ the bridegroom, the church the chaste and faithful bride.] (2 Corinthians 11:21)
Our marriage relationship to our God is more than most people consider when they ponder what it means to know Jesus. Most people think of worshiping God as a form of individual expression, as something that an individual does so that the individual feels a sense of belonging to God. They do not think of it as an interaction of a married couple. But God says that a relationship with Him is more. He says that there is an interchange on a best friend level and way beyond, on a husband-wife level yet way beyond. It is hard for us to think about God in that way because the world has so moved away from "thus sayeth the Lord" that it has distorted what the marital bed is, in actuality. It is thought of as a mere carnal interchange of bodily fluids. That is not what marriage is supposed to be for a husband and wife in God's plan. The man and woman are to be thinking as if they have merged into one life-form identity and as far as God is concerned, they have. They are to think of the deep symbolism that their marriage carries and their sexual acts contain.
On a more cosmic scale the same is true in the parallel with God and the saved person. At the moment a person accepts Christ and receives Him into their heart, the Holy Spirit takes up residence inside the person and the two become connected, one. Another verse says that each believer has a body, a soul and a spirit that was made alive. When this connection happens, that believer's spirit is "immersed into" or inserted into the body of Christ. The sexual union is a picture of this on our literal plain. (1 Cor.12:13) Marriage for us fulfills the body's needs and drives and answers the deep longings of the soul. That is precisely what God promises for the believer, only with effects that go far deeper than mere sexual release.
"But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Friend: Do you have this sweet relationship with Jesus? Do you see a relationship with Him even possible? If you haven't considered a relationship with God then the One who paid it all for you wants a relationship with Him to begin. He came to earth and shed His blood to make it possible to have this marriage to Him. He stands outside the door of your heart and He knocks but He will not force the door open, you must open to Him. How often have you wished for something more in life, something deeper, a deeper meaning to your existence? Jesus is waiting for you to have that kind of relationship with Him. He has proposed to you and wishes to be one with you.
If you are aware that you are a sinner and in need of a Savior then you can ask Jesus into your heart and life. Do you believe that Jesus came to earth and that His death on the cross paid for your sins? Do you believe that He was buried and then on the third day rose again? Then pray this:
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner and that I cannot pay for all the wrongs I have done. I believe that You came to earth because You love me and want me to be with You in a relationship that will last forever. I believe that You died and rose for me. Please Lord forgive me for my sin and save me. I open to You now, my heart, my life, my being, I give it all to You. I promise to follow You and to live my life Your way. Thank you for saving me. I pray this in Jesus' holy name. Amen.
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