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A  Bride Prepared      

Bone of my Bones and Flesh of my Flesh

It may seem like strange language today, but the very first description of a marriage found in the Bible is this:  “This is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh...” (Genesis 2:23)  These, of course, were the prophetic words of Adam as he took Eve to be his wife.  Significantly, those words mirror the perfect spiritual union of Christ and His Bride – the Church.  (‘Bride’ is capitalized throughout, as an indication of her divine nature at the time of the wedding.)  It is not only because Eve was taken out of Adam (v.23) that God declared them to be one flesh, it is because their inseparable cleaving to each other bound them as one flesh.  “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”  (Genesis 2:24).

Every groom has specific qualities that he seeks in a wife – Christ also has specific qualities that He requires in His wife.  Who will qualify to be the Bride of Christ?  How will Jesus recognize His Bride?  Paul tells us of the love that Christ has for His Bride.  “No man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord cherishes the Church: For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.”  (Ephesians 5:29-32)  In the same way that a husband and wife become one flesh, Christ and His Bride will be one Spirit“He who is joined to the Lord is [not one flesh, but] one Spirit with Him.”  (1 Corinthians 6:17)

Now, this is getting way ahead of the story – but it is obvious that the true Church, collectively, constitutes the Bride.  It is, therefore, incumbent upon us that we be a part of the Church.  Everyone that attends Sabbath services is not converted, nor is everyone who thinks himself to be a Christian, led by God’s Spirit.  We understand that tares do not recognize that they are tares, so it is vital that we make our calling and selection sure.  (Matthew 13:40, 2 Peter 1:10)

How will Christ recognize His Bride – the Church?  Those who comprise the Bride will be true Christians following the lead of God’s Holy Spirit – with the spiritual fruit to prove it (Romans 8:14).  They will be loving God and loving one another.  And, as we saw a moment ago, they will be laying down their lives in service to each other.  Jesus laid down His life for His friends – and He tells us that we must do exactly the same thing.  (John 15:13)

Jesus intends His example of sacrifice and service to all to be an everyday way of life for His wife to be – not simply a symbolic act performed once a year at Passover.  In the early Church, a deacon was a servant, like a janitor, maid, nurse, or even a slave.  Unlike some men, God does not look down on those who serve.  The original deacons waited tables and served the widows, and God greatly honored and approved of it (Acts 6:6, John 12:26).

Though most men in society would not cast a second glance at a lowly cleaning lady – let alone marry one – that is an exact picture of just what Jesus Christ is going to do.  Let us remember that Jesus, who is King and Master, took the lowliest status of all, and served as a deacon [‘diakonos’ ].  “For even the Son of man [Jesus] came not to be served unto, but to serve [diakoneo], and to give His life a ransom for many.”  (Mark 10:45)  Everyone in the congregation must be emulating Christ’s example as a servant to all.

A New Countenance

In a world of social class distinction, elitism, and caste systems, it is difficult to imagine that the most powerful and glorious Jesus Christ has chosen to marry a bride without high-class standing, power, status or prestige.  Indeed, Paul says that we are now slaves of Christ [‘doulos,’ a bond slave without any rights or standing] because we have been purchased with His blood (1 Corinthians 7:22-23).  When she is called out of this world, the Bride has no preferable status – but she begins to distinguish herself by putting on a new countenance, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24).   Jesus Christ will not, in fact, marry across class lines – His Bride will be like Him (1 John 3:2, 1 Corinthians 15:49)! 

The phrase, “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh,” should conjure up the appreciation of a closeness and unity that is only attainable within the most intimate of relationships – even a perfect union that is oneness in heart, mind, purpose, and Spirit.  Jesus Christ cherishes His Bride (Ephesians 5:29).  We have been given this preview of the heavenly wedding that depicts the affection and unique intimacy that the Bride will share with her Creator God.

One Body – One Spirit

At creation, God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and He opened his side and created Eve to be his wife.  That was done as a prototype of Christ and His Bride.  Paul understood the prophetic significance of that act – referring to Jesus as the final Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45, Romans 5:14).  Jesus’ death correlates to the deep sleep of Adam.  Jesus’ side was opened – His life’s blood flowed out - making it possible for the Church [His Bride] to be formed (John 19:34).  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.  Eve was the ideal helpmate for Adam, or as Genesis has it – an help meet for himTherefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”  (Genesis 2:20-24)  In the same way, Jesus Christ foretold that He and His Bride would be one Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:44).

Jesus Christ revealed to Paul that the Church brethren are in effect, His body – as husband and wife are one flesh one body in marriage.  The Church of God is the Body of Christ.    "You are the Body of Christ, and members in particular."  (1 Corinthians 12:27)  "…The Church, which is His Body."  (Ephesians 1:22-23)  "So we, being many, are one Body in Christ…"  (Romans 12:5)  "For [Christ's] Body's sake, which is the Church."  (Colossians 1:24)  "For the perfecting of the saints…for the edifying of the Body of Christ.”  (Ephesians 4:12)  Many more verses firmly establish that the “body” of Christ is a direct reference to the Church of God brethren.

Chapter 6: Only one Bride

Teach Us To Pray