34 years ago I had a fleeting moment of brilliance divinely timed with a young woman’s fleeting moment of blindness. I asked her to marry me, and amazingly so, she said yes.
I did not marry my wife because she was single even though I married her because she was single. I could not have married her if she was not single but her singleness was not the focus of my proposal. I wanted to spend my life with her as my wife.
About 1953 years prior to our betrothal, another young man after many years of running a small business as a humble tradesman became a rabbi. He then invested 3 years living an unparalleled life of grace and truth only to die a brutal death falsely accused by a corrupt legal system. His case would have been thrown out today. What happened three days later altered history forever.
Jesus died for our sins but He did not die only for our sins. His purpose to live, die and rise again, the occasion we followers celebrate as the holiest day of our year, was not solely redemption no more than marrying my bride was to remove her singleness. With Jesus, atonement was for betrothment. The Cross was the ceremony. The Resurrection is the marriage. Jesus died for His bride to be without spot or wrinkle cleansed by His Word to take her for Himself with splendor.* It’s as if the Father said to His Son, “Go get yourself a bride knowing it will cost you everything.”
Watchman Nee declares, “The outcome of the Cross is shown to be a single person: a bride for the Son. Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for it.” **
Creation’s first marriage occurred when Adam went to sleep and woke up with a bride. Creation’s perfect marriage happened after Jesus was “asleep” for three days and awakened to give His new bride what Eve never received. Adam later followed his wife to the Tree of Knowledge resulting in death. Jesus chose a tree of death to lead His wife to life. Adam chose his own soul. Jesus chose His bride’s soul.
Easter’s amazing grace takes away our sin before God as a mandatory and crucial act but not the final outcome. As divinely timed, Jesus engaged the Cross and disengaged the Tomb to share His joy with His bride forever. Amazingly so, His brilliance removed our blindness.
* – Ephesians 5:25 ** – Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life, p. 214