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Saturday, March 02, 2013

The Bride From The Side

married coupleSo the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Gen 2:21-24

Somebody once said,

Woman was taken out of man; not out of his head to lord it over him him, nor out of his feet to be trampled on by him; but out of his side to be equal to him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved.

Well, it's a nice sentiment and has a poetic ring to it. But it does raise the question about exactly what was in God's mind when He decided to use this particular part of Adam's anatomy as the starting point for Eve

 I am becoming more and more convinced that Jesus meant it when He said,

These are the very Scriptures that testify about me Jn 5:39

Luke tells us that on the road to Emmaus,

Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Lk 24:27

So, how could the opening up of Adam's side and the creation of another being be illustrative of Jesus?

crucifiedThe Side
The answer to the first part of that question is found in John's account of the crucifixion.

But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. Jn 19:33-35

Both water and blood are part of Hebrew worship and both reference cleansing. Blood cleanses from sin and is the heart of the Temple sacrificial system. But ceremonial washing with water was also important, signifying physical cleansing of the body.

As blood and water flowed from the side of Jesus, so His sacrifice brings both forgiveness and cleansing to us.

And so we come to the second part of our question - the significance of another being created from the pierced side.

bride of christThe Bride 
Our salvation was won for us by Jesus on the cross.

There are many metaphors used in Scripture to describe the relationship between the saved sinner and Jesus. For example we are referred to as sheep, a building, a body. But the one most relevant in this context is that of a bride.

Throughout the Old Testament prophetic literature we see God referring to His people as an adulterous wife or bride.

The image is taken over into the New Testament. In John 3:29 Jesus refers to Himself as the Bridegroom and several times in Revelation the bride and bridegroom imagery is used. Paul uses a similar concept in Ephesians 5:21-33 where he talks about the relationship between husband and wife and the says,

This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the church. Eph 5:32

The Profound Mystery 
Adam's wife Eve was taken from his side (the word rib can just as well be translated side) and we are the Bride of the Christ who's side was pierced with a spear.

Not only that. Just as Eve was of the same flesh as Adam, so too will we have a spiritual body like that of our bridegroom. Paul makes this clear on his chapter on the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15. And John says,

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1 Jn 3:2

Amen. Come Lord Jesus. Rev 22:20

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