Christ and the Church

“This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.” (Eph. 5:32)

What exactly is the mystery? It is the miracle of two becoming one. Becoming so close that each separate component loses enough of its identity that the two meld into a new identity.

In north Florida, there is a spring that forms a short river that flows into the Swanee. The Swanee River, like most rivers in the southeast, is tainted by cypress tree knees. The Swanee looks like dark tea flowing between the cypress knees. The spring, on the other hand, is clear, with no stain or color at all. In addition, the Little River that flows from the spring is very cold while the Swanee has warmed in the southern sun.

There is a spot where the two meet. The Little River gently flows into the larger Swanee, the cold into the warm, the clear into the stained. There is a place where one can stand and place one leg in the tea color and one in the clear and see them merge. If one does that he can also feel the cold on one leg and warmth on the other.

But, if you move a few steps downriver the difference begins to fade. The water assumes one color and one temperature. The two, as different as they were, become as one. This is no mystery but it does illustrate the mystery Paul speaks of. Two become one. A plus B becomes AB. Some of both and yet uniquely no longer the same as before. A new combination is formed.

How it happens with a man and a woman is a mystery. But it can and it does if they allow it to happen.

Paul says its so but his main topic is not marriage but the relationship of Christians with Christ. Christ becomes part of the Christian and the Christian loses himself in Christ. The Christian is now a part of Christ just as Christ is a part of him. God lives in the saved and then the saved may live in God. Not just in this life but in the life to come.

What God has joined man cannot sever. If you have said “I do” to Jesus you are united in his bride. You are part of the bride, the wife of Christ for whom he died.

When people in the world see us they should see Christ. When we minister in the world we should minister as Christ. We have become one with him and we must live as he lives. We must live as a part of the great mystery that has somehow brought us into the Godhead as children, one with the Son.

Task for Today: Try mixing two liquids of different colors. If you mix them long enough they will cease to be different colors but become one new one. Realise that you are one of the colors and Christ the other and now that you are in his body, his bride, his church the two of you have become one. You don’t have to understand the mystery to believe it.

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