It’s often said that God created two institutions: marriage (and so the family unit) and the church. Hebrews 10:1 indicates that the Law is the shadow of the reality to come. Since the overall theme of the Bible is a holy God redeeming sinful man, then Ephesians 5 describing marriage as the shadow to understand the reality of Jesus’ bride, the blood-bought church, being presented to the Bridegroom at the wedding supper of the Lamb makes sense.
I. Ephesians 5:22-33. In figurative language, something that is unknown is described by what is known. In this case, the relationship between a husband and wife is explained as the one between Christ and His church … and vice versa. The marriage verse of Genesis 2:24 is quoted and then is directly applied to Jesus and His bride. We know that earthly marriage only lasts until death or judgment (Matthew 22:29-30; Matthew 24:38-39). Therefore, to help us better understand the oneness we need to have with God, our heavenly Father gave us the shadow of earthly marriage here.
II. John 10:30. Several are described as walking with God (Genesis 3:8; Genesis 5:24; Genesis 6:9). In Enoch’s case, his fellowship with the Almighty let him escape death (Hebrews 11:5). The Son, who was sinless (Hebrews 4:15), was in perfect oneness with the Father. Through His redeeming work at the cross and tomb, Jesus makes it possible for us to live in a restored relationship with Him once again (1 John 2:6).
III. John 14:9-14. In Revelation 21:2, the church is presented as a bride adorned for her husband. Blessed are those who are at the wedding supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9) when the two become one flesh. To be one with God, we first need to be baptized into Him (Galatians 3:26-27). Then we need to continue to abide in Him through obedience and continual repentance.
Earthly marriages fail because of wedges in the oneness. Christians fail because they allow wedges of sin and selfishness to come between them and their Bridegroom and cease to remain in the bride. God wants all to come to repentance. Are you heading to a wedding?