Wednesday, 2 November 2016
This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:32
According to Vincent’s Word Studies, the word “great” acts as a predicate, not as an attribute. Therefore, this is correctly rendered, “This mystery is great…” Paul is telling us that what was just said about the man leaving his father and mother and being joined to the woman is a type and picture of what God would do in Christ with His church.
Paul calls this a “mystery” because it is something that had never been revealed before, but which was now being revealed by him. The symbolism of the Lord being wedded to His people does run through the Old Testament, but it was always thought to apply only to Israel. However, the mystery-now-revealed shows that the intent all along was that the marriage typology actually was pointing to God’s people, brought near to Him through the Person and work of Christ.
Having said that, Paul’s note about the greatness of the mystery shows that we can only understand a portion of what is being presented. In reality, until the consummation of the marriage, we can only speculate as to what lies ahead. However, it does lie ahead, and therefore we should be in eager anticipation of it and we should be continuously preparing ourselves for that day.
Life application: We are as a bride to our Bridegroom. Let us try to act like it.
Heavenly Father, great and gracious God – Your church is likened to a bride being made ready to meet her Bridegroom, and yet we sure don’t act like it. Please grant us the wisdom to prepare ourselves just as carefully and meticulously for that marvelous meeting with Christ that we would need in preparation for an earthly marriage, even more so. Our earthly marriages may be splendid, but they will end at some point. Our heavenly marriage is eternal. How can we not be preparing ourselves for such a marvelous moment? Help us to redirect our lives towards the spiritual side of who we are. Amen.