One flesh

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Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:21-33

There are three prominent prepositions used about Adam and Eve in Genesis 2.  For, From, and To.  She is for him.  From him.  Then brought to him.

Which means the whole thing is heading towards a fourth preposition.  And I’m afraid I can’t avoid all the connotations of this next word, but let’s hold our breath and be as grown up as possible.  No sniggering…

The whole thing is heading towards in.  Consummation will mean union.  They become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

Shakespeare’s Iago may have called it “the beast with two backs” but in Scripture there’s nothing beastly about it.  Here is the glory of humanity in consummation.  They were made male and female and intended precisely for such oneness.

This unity is not monstrous or demeaning.  The two do not lose their distinctives in this union.  In fact this union preserves and upholds their distinctions.  Sex makes sexes.

Their one-ness does not come at the cost of their differences.  This is a one-ness that depends upon deep differences and which doesn’t dissolve those differences.  Instead it’s a oneness of intimacy and love.

This word for “one”, which the Authorized Version translates, is the same word used to describe God’s oneness.  “The LORD our God is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4).

Again, this is not a oneness that crowds out distinctives.  There is plenty of room in this one-ness for distinct Persons – but Persons who are bound together from all eternity in love.  This is the one-ness of God, a one-ness that affirms and upholds the delightful distinctions and roles of the Father, Son and Spirit.  God is one because God is love.  And God is love because God is trinity.  So Adam and Eve’s oneness tells us about the oneness of God.

But more personally for us, Adam and Eve’s oneness tells us about our oneness with Christ.

The Apostle Paul quotes this verse about ‘one flesh’ and he says:

This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.  (Ephesians 5:32)

Genesis 2:24 is meant to teach us about our union with Christ.  It is not a moral union, as though our oneness consists in ethical conformity to Christ.  It is a union of covenant faithfulness.  It is a union in which our distinctives are not abolished but affirmed.  It is a union of delight.  It is a union of love.  And it is a union of being.

Those united to Jesus are one flesh with Him.  Bone of His bones, flesh of His flesh.  We are the body, He is the Head.  We are so close that we are in fact “in” Him.  And you can’t get closer than in.

The Christian has not just come into some gospel privileges.  We are brought into Christ’s very Person.  Unbreakably and immovably.  We are one with our Lord, now and forevermore.

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