Hi this is pastor Ken, Thanks for joining me once again for the Monday Marriage Message. I have entitled this episode…Renewed Oneness.
At the beginning of next week, we will celebrate Easter. One might ask what Easter has to do with marriage. At first glance it may not seem like an easy correlation to draw. However, there are several aspects of the scriptural account surrounding Easter that are directly connected to marriage.
First is the prayer spoken by Jesus the night before He was crucified. There he prayed for Himself that He would have the strength to follow through with the plan He and the Father had been committed to since before the world was even created. 1 Peter 1:19-21 tells us, But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Jesus knew this was going to be a very painful event in every way a person can experience pain. It was going to hurt Him physically, emotionally and spiritually, but He was willing for it because it was necessary to express his love for His bride…more on that in a moment.
In the second part of the prayer, Jesus prayed for the strengthening of His disciples knowing also the difficulty that lay ahead for them. The third part of His prayer that awful Thursday night is the portion I want to focus on today. That section is found in John 17:20-26. There it is recorded that Jesus prayed; “I do not pray for these alone [the disciples], but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” So what does this have to do with marriage? As I have mentioned before, in the Greek language there are often many words that translate into one word in English because where a singular word in our language may mean several different things, in the Greek there is a different word for each of those meanings. So in Greek the word that we translate into “one” in the verses above where Jesus is asking that we be “one” with one another, just like He is “one” with the Father, and that we be “one” with them is the same word that He used in Matthew 19:6 where He said “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.” The significance of this is that the Greek word used means the same thing as our word homogenize. It means to mix or blend two separate things so completely that they can no longer be successfully separated again. The obvious illustration of this is homogenized milk, where the milk and cream have been blended to the point that the cream no longer separates itself from the milk and rises to the top of the container. In both instances Jesus is saying the same thing. In the one, He is saying God homogenizes a man and a woman into an entity called marriage. In the other He is praying that He will have what it takes to follow through with the plan so that we can be homogenized with Him and be provided a way to be inseparably joined with Him forever in Heaven. His desire for oneness with us is illustrated in the oneness God endows us with as husband and wife in marriage.
The second correlation between Easter and marriage is found in Christ’s willingness to go to the cross for our blessing. Before Jesus came to earth He had reigned in the heavens with the Holy Spirit and the Father forever. They had existed, unseparated, homogenized, One for all of eternity past. Aside from the plan referenced above in 1 Peter, Jesus had no need to come to earth and die a horrible death, we had need of him to come. He left the perfection of heaven and lived as one of His own creation in a completely and totally imperfect world solely for our good. He calls us His bride and references the fact that it was the love of a Husband that led Him to the cross.
Ephesians 5:25-29 says; Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. Romans 12:10 tells us that as a result of our love, we are to prefer one another. Jesus choosing to come to Earth and die in our place to pay the penalty for our sins for us is the ultimate example of preferring another over self. Jesus lowered Himself from His rightful position expressly for the purpose of elevating us, the church, His bride to an undeserved position. The events of Good Friday and Easter are the perfect gifts given to us, the bride, as a result of the perfect Love of our Bridegroom. It has always been the plan because with foreknowledge that Adam would fall to sin and interrupt the oneness he enjoyed with God in the Garden God made a way for Renewed Oneness.
Questions to answer:
Have you ever made the connection between Easter and marriage?
As you recognize the correlations I have mentioned today, what new meaning do these events mentioned have for you?
Are there any other connections you can think of between Easter and marriage?
Actions to take:
Take time today together to thank God for the plan He put in place to make a way for your renewed oneness with Him.
If you never have realized that Jesus came to make a way for you to stand together with Him free of your sin, thank Him now for coming and dying in your place. Tell Him you want to be connected with Him forever as one and that you now desire Him to be your personal Lord and Savior for the rest of eternity. Do that now in your own words and you will begin an incredible and amazing journey of love with Him the likes of which you have never known!
So now living out the oneness of your marriage in a way that responds to what Jesus did for you to provide renewed oneness with Him …Go Be Awesome!