Glorious Bride Part 7
To the beloved of God, who are hidden in Christ in God. Be patient as you prepare for His appearing, and joyful as you serve one another in love, showing kindness to each other as the Lord himself taught us.
In telling the story of the Woman in Heaven as seen by John in Rev 12:1, we followed the story of three marriages and the vine in the Old Testament. As in a play or stage production, this was Act 1 of our story, and the curtain closed with the question: how is it possible for God and Man to become one as in a marriage relationship? Then last time, we opened the curtain to begin Act 2 of the story of the Woman. In Heaven, (our primary or celestial reality) John saw the woman “Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.” Rev 12:2, and upon the Earth (the secondary or natural reality) the Virgin Mary highly favored of God conceived of the Holy Spirit and gave birth to a son, whose name is Jesus, the Son of God. Our eyes are now firmly on centre stage, for Jesus has come into view, and the question that was asked two thousand years ago is the same question that is still being asked today – who is this man that claims to be the Son of God? That’s what we began to look at last time, answering the question who is Jesus, and what did He accomplish in His First Coming that made wedding preparations for His Second Coming?
In talking of marriage, we have seen how there must be compatibility between the Husband and the Wife for union to be possible, and for the two to become one flesh, they must not only be like one another, but they must also be of the same form or kind as each other. That’s why it was always necessary for Father to have a wife Israel, so that a legitimate Son could be born who would exist fully in both forms, fully God and fully Man in one person, Jesus Christ. This was unsurpassable, radical and a blatant demonstration of God’s love and commitment to the marriage covenant. Since “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and forever” Heb 13:8 God has forever united himself with mankind, Jesus has become a man (whilst keeping His deity and equality within the Godhead), and will always be a man, since He will never change. He holds a unique position that no one else could fill. He has become the Mediator between God and Man. He is “the Mediator of the New Covenant by means of His death” Heb 9:15, “For there is One God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” 1 Tim 2:5
Now let’s look a bit deeper into what actually took place when Jesus came on His First Coming. Philippians records that Jesus was in the same form (or morphē) as God “who, being in the form (morphē) of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God” Php 2:6, but then “emptied himself (kenoō, meaning to make void), by taking the form (morphē) of a bondservant, being born in the likeness of men.” Php 2:7 This world morphē is connected with the word metamorphosis, which means the changing of one form into another, and it’s the word used by Matthew and Mark when describing the transfiguration of Jesus, that He changed form. We also see morphē used when after His resurrection Jesus appeared again. “After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country.” Mark 16:12
There is another word that is also used when describing the nature or form in which Jesus came, and this word is “schēma” and means shape or “plan”. When we think about schemes this is normally in the context of an architectural drawing known as a schematic as in a design for a house. The “schēma” is the blueprint of the architect’s design, featuring dimensions and materials in which to be used in the construction of the house. Paul used this word “schēma” as he pens the letter to the Philippians “And being found in human form (“schēma”), he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Php 2:8
This is an important point, and is a source of heresy today, in which the Bride must be aware. That some will say Jesus was not fully man, this strikes at the very foundation of our faith, for it is not only because Jesus was fully man that He is able to be the atonement sacrifice and propitiation for all sin, but He is also able as both fully man and fully God, to be the only Bridegroom to open the way for the two to become “one flesh”.
“Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” Heb 2:17
Let’s look at another important aspect of the Creative process of God. Paul writes “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.” 1 Cor 15:46. He writes to show that there is a sequence, an order of bringing something to completion, and states that the natural order of things precedes the spiritual order of things. When God creates, He begins by giving natural form to something. This is what happened in the Creation account in Genesis 1. “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Gen 1:2 Did you notice that the earth already existed? But not in the way that we know it now, for scripture says that the earth was without form and void and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. God gave the earth form in the natural scheme, and He also gave Adam form in the natural scheme, for He made Adam from the dust. But this was not the end but the beginning. Yes, in Genesis 1, Creation was complete in the form God made it which was the natural form, but God foreknew and destined that the natural would be overshadowed by the spiritual, that the spiritual form would one day be manifest in the natural form.
Adam was God’s finest Creation, but the best was yet to come! For there would be a Second Adam who would bring many “many sons to glory” Heb 2:8. That we shall be changed to be like Him, and in being changed, we shall be compatible to be made one with Him forever. When Jesus died so did the Adamic form, the natural form of man. This was necessary for glorification to take place. When the body is sown in weakness, it is raised in power, it is sown in dishonour it is raised in glory. 1 Cor 15:43. The body which is sown is not the same as the body which is raised 1 Cor 15:37. The body is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body 1 Cor 15:44. When Jesus rose again, He did not arise with the same body, the Second Adam did not rise again not in the same form, but was the seed that was sown to bring forth much fruit John 12:24. Jesus is now glorified with a glorified body, a spiritual body, that looks like the natural body, but it is not the same, it is fundamentally different. This is our hope and our faith, that our lowly bodies will be transformed to be like His glorious body Php 3:21.
We began by asking what preparations Jesus made for His wedding, and the answer I have tried to give as the first preparation, was how both the Bridegroom and the Bride are capable by the power of God, to be transformed into a new and glorious body. The body began in the natural form but ends in the spiritual form, and therefore makes compatibility between God and Man for union and oneness possible.
Until next time, I will finish with one final scripture.
“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling.” 2 Cor 5:1,2