I. THE CLOSEST AND MOST INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP THAT MAN CAN EXPERIENCE IS THAT OF HUSBAND AND WIFE.
A. God said that the two shall be one flesh.
1. I don't know if you can get any closer than that.
2. Whether the one flesh refers to the act of cohabitation or in the fruit of that cohabitation I do not know.
a. It is true that your child gets half of its genes from each of you, so that two of you produced that one flesh.
b. That should silence that "look what your kid did now," bit.
B. The second thing that is said about this relationship was said by Adam concerning Eve.
1. "This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called Woman for she was taken out of man.
a. The King James translation of the Hebrew word tsela as rib is perhaps correct, the same word is also beam thus the rib as a part of the structure. Only twice is that word translated rib in the Old Testament, 19 times it is translated side.
b. Dr. Wilson in his excellent book "Wonders of the Human Body" opts for the translation side, and suggests that God created Eve, and then gave her a blood transfusion from the side of Adam, hence, "Bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh."
c. Isn't it interesting that if we existed because of the evolutionary processes, that both sexes would have had to have come to the same degree of development at the same time in order to reproduce.
C. Using the marriage of a man and woman to symbolize the relationship of Christ and the church we thus see that we have become one with Him. Verse 31. For the two shall become one flesh.
1. "And in that day, you will know that I am in the Father and you are in Me, and I in you."
2. In the prayer of Jesus in John 17
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
3. To the Galatians Paul said, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me."
D. The further symbol is Eve being taken out of the side of Adam, and thus being as in verse 30 of his body and of his flesh and of his bones.
1. We have been given life by the blood of Jesus Christ that flowed forth when the soldier with his spear pierced the side of Jesus.
2. So as Eve came from the pierced side of Adam, So the church came from the pierced side of Jesus, and are thus, flesh of His flesh and bone of His bones.
E. The Lord desires this kind of intimacy with you.
II. IN THE OLD TESTAMENT WE FIND THAT THIS IS THE RELATIONSHIP THAT GOD SOUGHT WITH ISRAEL.
A. Many times Israel was spoken of as a faithless wife.
1. The whole book of Hosea brings out the parallels between the prophet and his wife, with God and the nation of Israel. God spoke of a future day when He would betroth them forever.
And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.
I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.
2. The prophet Isaiah wrote,
For thy Maker [is] thine husband; the LORD of hosts [is] his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, (My delight is in her) and thy land Beulah: (married) for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
For [as] a young man marrieth a virgin, [so] shall thy sons marry thee: and [as] the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, [so] shall thy God rejoice over thee.
III. IN THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A HUSBAND AND WIFE IS LIKENENED TO THE RELATIONSHIP OF CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH.
A. So wives are to submit themselves unto their own husbands as unto the Lord. vs. 22.
1. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. vs. 23.
2. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ so let the wives be to their own husbands.
B. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.
1. Christ gave Himself for the church that He might sanctify it with the washing of the water by the Word.
2. That He might present it to Himself as a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that it should be holy and without blemish.
a. Paul wrote to the Corinthians,
For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.
3. Psalm 45
is a beautiful picture of the Messiah with His bride. The first 6 verses speak of the glory of the King. Beginning with verse 7 the Psalmist begins to speak of the bride,
Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
All thy garments [smell] of myrrh, and aloes, [and] cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.
Kings' daughters [were] among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.
Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house;
So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he [is] thy Lord; and worship thou him.
And the daughter of Tyre [shall be there] with a gift; [even] the rich among the people shall entreat thy favour.
The king's daughter [is] all glorious within: her clothing [is] of wrought gold.
She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.
With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace.
4. Paul writing to the Colossians said,
To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
5. In the Song of Solomon which many see as the love song between Christ and the church, the bridegroom says to the bride,
SOL 4:7 Thou [art] all fair, my love; [there is] no spot in thee.
C. Finally this unity between a husband and wife Paul declares to be a great mystery, for Paul said that he was speaking concerning Christ and His church.