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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Intimacy

How do you feel when you hold your wife?  For me that feeling is one of rest, completeness, peace, contentment.  This morning I was thinking through the notion of intimacy with Christ.  Mark 12:18 – 25 came to mind; the passage where Christ tells us there will be no marriage in heaven.  That got me to thinking.
If the intimacy of marriage is a pale reflection of what our relationship with Christ is to be, I want that.
We were created male and female, Genesis 1:27.  That was in God’s image.  So there is some portion of that image resident in the male and the female.  You may have noticed some differences.  In Genesis 2:18 God said that it was not good for the man to be alone; so he created woman for him, to complete him.  In 24 – 25 He says, in the verse that is quoted during most wedding ceremonies, that they are to become one flesh.  So the expectation is for a close intimate relationship between a man and a woman in marriage.  That was messed up in the next chapter but it is still the original intent.  Further in Ephesians 5:32 we are told that marriage is an audio visual representation of Christ’s relationship to the Church.

But marriage is not carried forward into heaven.  Why?  We long for physical intimacy.  Babies require it, or they do not thrive.  As I thought through this I begin to wonder if those strong desires are mere echoes of the intimacy that we are to experience with Christ?  In Psalm 73:25 Asaph says that his only desire is God.  It seems like what the message may be is that intimacy with Christ is more fulfilling than the completeness we feel as couples.  That the marriage union is a pale reflection of what our relationship with Christ can be.  If this is so I begin to understand Psalm 42:1.  I want that.

4 comments:

  1. It seems that Eugene Peterson (The Message) agrees with you; he paraphrases Mark 12:24,25 as:
    24 Jesus said, "You're way off base, and here's why: One, you don't know your Bibles; two, you don't know how God works. 25 After the dead are raised up, we're past the marriage business. As it is with angels now, all our ecstasies and intimacies then will be with God.

    I must admit that it is hard for me to imagine not having the special relationship with my wife in heaven as I do here, minus my sin, of course. But our intimacy with Christ will be SO much more...!

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  2. OK,
    You may have noticed that I have been reviewing your blog chronologically. I get behind sometimes (might have to do with that bit about scheduling time for God, His Word, prayer and some meditative thoughts . . ya think?) but anyway.

    I get the same understanding from the Bible. The first time I discovered it it was how I remember my older sister informing me in a very matter-of-fact way that there was no Santa Claus. I was crushed (and probably about 6 at the time).

    So if we are told what to expect in the Bible, when a family member passes why is there so much talk about them meeting other family members who have gone on before them? The dearly departed so to speak.

    Why do our religious orginizations try to con the bereaved??

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    Replies
    1. Tough question. Many with pastoral gifts feel a need to comfort those who are in deep pain by giving them hope.

      That is not a good reason, and it does not make it right, but it is so. That is what drives a lot of the things that happen in our churches.

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