There are times when the church could be compared to an Indiana Jones movie. Tension, gossip, infighting, drama, walking wounded – and on it goes.
Paul talks about the bride of Christ (the church) as being holy and without blemish, Eph. 5:27. But when we look at the church with our natural eyes we see quite the opposite, the return of Christ seems further off than ever – if He is returning for a perfect bride.
Our tendency is to examine the church from a worldly perspective, but when we do that we are bound to be disappointed.
So once again it’s time to put on our spiritual eyes and view the church as Christ does.
In Eph. 5:22-33, Paul is talking about husbands and wives. In v25-27, he describes a radical kind of love – one that is able make the recipient holy, but then he follows up with something totally unexpected – “to present her to Himself”.
This is a whole new ball game . Christ made us holy… to present us back to himself. Imagine Christ is the Father of the bride walking down the aisle with his cherished daughter – he lifts his daughter’s hand off his arm to present her to the groom – and then he steps in front of the bride and receives her again… for himself.
This imagery is the very heart of Christianity, Christ made us perfect – so that he could marry us.
Then in verse 32 he delivers the real kicker “This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the church”. The perfection of the church is not found in our outward appearance, service or good works. It is found in the fact that Christ made the church into His radiant bride – as a present to Himself.
The church is not supposed to be measured by how well we are carrying out the tasks associated with our faith, it is supposed to be measured by how well Christ carried out His task of making us holy, blameless, without spot or wrinkle. He carried out His task perfectly, we are the bride beautifully dressed for our husband, Rev. 21:2, clothed in the perfection of Christ’s blood sacrifice.
But wait, there’s more; this perfection has made us into the delight of His heart, he longs for the joy of our eternal union, He is besotted with us because we have become a perfect mate for Him. The bride and the groom will live forever in blissful marriage – the church was indeed a good idea.
The perfect couple, made for each other – by His blood.