“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27 (NKJV)
Is there anything more radiant and beautiful than a bride on her wedding day? There is just something special about her, a glow from knowing she has been chosen and is loved by the one she also loves.
As believers, we are the Bride of Christ. The Apostle Paul compared the relationship between a husband and wife to that of Christ and the Church. Reading Ephesians 5:27, “…that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle…” I asked God what does that look like? Knowing the church is made up of people, warts and all, how can it be without spot or wrinkle?
“Go back to the beginning,” God whispered. So I did. The book of Genesis tells us God created Mankind, Male and Female, in His image, to be His representatives on the earth. Then He gave them authority over everything created thing on the earth. They were created in God’s similitude, they were intelligent and they had no sense of shame. There is no sin in God, so they had no sin nature, they knew nothing about sin. (Read Gen. 1:26-28, Gen. 5:1-2, Gen. 2:20-25.)
As I pondered these verses, I kept wondering how did the man and woman not see one another’s nakedness? I could understand having no shame, because there was no sin or guilt attached to them. But how did they not see the nakedness?
Every creature was created with a natural covering, except mankind. Dogs and cats have fur, fish have scales, horses have hides and birds have feathers. But what covered Adam and Eve?
God’s glory! They were covered, or clothed by God’s glory! They had been created in His image, to be His representatives on the earth, God had covered them with His glory. The man and woman walked and talked with God in the Garden, without fear or shame. Then suddenly everything changed.
The serpent entered the Garden and offered Eve something she already had, telling her if she ate of the fruit from the tree in the center of the Garden, she would be like God. When she saw it looked good, she took it and gave it to her husband. With that one act of disobedience, sin entered the Garden, and mankind’s sin nature was born. Suddenly they were truly naked because they lost their covering of God’s glory. They tried to cover themselves with fig leaves, but it was not enough, blood had to be spilt to cover their sin. (See Gen 3:4-8, 21.)
I pressed God for more. I needed another witness regarding His glory on man. He took me to the book of Exodus and the story of Moses.
Moses was God’s servant, an humble man the Bible calls him, yet it says “God spoke to him face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. (Ex. 33:11)
God called Moses to meet Him on the Mountain and God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and the Law. Moses asked God to see His glory, and God said He would show him His goodness. God put Moses in the cleft of a rock, covered his face as He walked by, and allowed Moses to see His backside. (Read Ex. 33:18-23.)
After forty day and nights, when Moses came down the mountain, his face beamed with light. The NKJV says Moses face “shown” and the Hebrew word used is “qaran” (Strong’s H7160) and means “to send out rays”. Moses’ face was sending out rays of light, or rays of God’s glory from seeing and speaking with God on the mountain for forty days and nights. It was so brilliant, the people were afraid and Moses had to cover his face when he would speak to the people. (Read Exodus 34:5-8, 30-35.)
The second witness God gave me is Jesus. The 17th chapter of Matthew gives us the account of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. It says Jesus’ face shown like the sun, and His clothes were white as the light. When Jesus came to the earth, He did not come as the Son of God, but as the Son of Man. But that day on the mountain, for just a moment the Deity of Jesus was unveiled and the glory of God revealed. (Read Matthew 17:1-7)
What does that mean for us? When Adam and Eve sinned, mankind lost their covering of God’s glory. They brought sin and death, neither of which are compatible with God’s glory. There was only one way to restore what Adam lost. A Man would have to pay the price. But not just any man would do, it had to be the sinless Son of God, come in the flesh.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” When Jesus came, He lived as a man, but He did what Adam could not. He lived a perfect sinless life, “He knew no sin”. But God placed on Him every sin of every person born, every evil deed, every wicked thought, every perversion, so that the penalty for sin was paid in full. Now no matter what our past, present or future looks like, our sin is not just covered, but done away with; we are made “the righteousness of God” the moment we receive Christ and are born again! Praise God! Once again we are covered with God’s glory, only now instead of it being on the outside, as it was with Adam and Eve, and with Moses, now it dwells on the inside!
The Bride of Christ is a beautiful, radiant bride, covered from the inside out with the glory of God!
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Peace and blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ,
New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.