The Divine Marriage: Summary of Biblical Evidence

  • In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel (God’s bride) played the harlot, and God let her go to her lovers, yet He never forsook the idea that there was always going to be a people who would be His faithful bride.
  • God said in Isaiah: “Your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is His name.”—also: “As a young man marries a maiden (virgin), so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”
  • In Hosea, God promised to bring His harlot bride back, saying: “In that day, you will call me ‘my husband’ . . . I will betroth you to Me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.”
  • Thus, using His relationship with the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, God eventually begins to hint at an impending marital relationship between God and man that is greater than the one experienced up to that point.
  • In the New Testament, in the book of John, we see a repeating of creation words and themes found in Genesis 1, in the unveiling of the New Creation that Christ has brought (words like: light, life, the Word, in the beginning, etc.). In fact, we see seven days of a new creation counted out in the first two chapters of John.
  • John deliberately uses the imagery of God’s action in Creation to introduce the imagery of His action in Redemption and marital union with redeemed man.
  • The marriage in Cana falls on the seventh day in this new creation metaphor, where Jesus, the Lamb of God, comes to a marriage feast to usher in the new Creation.
  • He is the new Adam, who like the first Adam, calls the new Eve, “woman” (Mary being the new Eve).
  • In Cana, Jesus uses the baptismal water of the Old Covenant ritual of purification (the water in the six stone jars) to provide the best wine for the wedding feast. When the master of the banquet comments to the bridegroom that he has saved the best wine for last, he speaks prophetically of the wine of Christ’s own blood that was to be served at the wedding feast of the Lamb.
  • In Jn. 3:29, John the Baptist speaks of Jesus as the Bridegroom.
  • We saw in Eph 5:26 how Paul refers to Christ cleansing the church by the washing with water through the word (referring to baptism). Baptism, therefore, not only brings about the new birth, it also brings about the marriage with Christ (or at least the betrothal).
  • In Eph 5:32, Paul, in talking about marriage relationships, says that he is referring to a profound mystery, (Mysterion—oath—magnum sacramentum in the Latin), which is Christ and the Church. The one true and everlasting marriage covenant is the one between Christ and the Church.
  • After being described as the Bridegroom in Jn. 3, in Jn. 4, Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well (which in the Old Testament, was a place of betrothal—where Jacob’s and Isaac’s wives were found).
  • So the themes of marriage between God and man repeatedly run throughout both Old and New Testaments.
  • As we saw in Genesis 1 & 2, our sexuality is an integral part of this grand pageant. It is a type and shadow of something far greater and more glorious than itself. It images the sacrificial love of God in Christ, fathering new life by giving Himself to us in sacrificial love on the Cross.

Lovense Max