When the apostle Paul wrote about marriage, he reminded us of the first couple in Scripture:
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery — but I am talking about Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:31-32)
Mystery does not refer to something we cannot grasp, or something that is too difficult to understand, but to something that was hidden in the Old Testament and is now revealed to us through Christ. The profound mystery is now clear… “I am talking about Christ and the church.” Marriage is a metaphor, a picture, of something much more grand than the marriage itself. The relationship between a husband and a wife is a dim reflection of the ultimate relationship between Christ and His bride. Geoffrey Bromiley said it this way, “As God made man in His own image, so He made earthly marriage in the image of His own eternal marriage with His people.” God created marriage to point to His eternal marriage with His people.
To make this point, Paul takes us back to Genesis 2:24-25: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
They felt no shame. Adam and Eve’s union resulted in “no shame.” Adam and Eve were enjoying true peace in this beautiful garden where everything was perfect. Their relationship with God was pure. They enjoyed Him fully. Their relationship with each other was satisfying and invigorating. No guilty consciences. No shame.
Their union points to the union we have with Christ. When we are united with Christ, there is no more shame. He removes all our guilt from us. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We are bare before Him, yet there is no shame. No guilt. No condemnation.
And how is there no shame? Because when we are united with Christ He takes all our sin, and we receive all His righteousness. Martin Luther wrote about it this way:
Faith unites the soul with Christ as a spouse with her husband. Everything which Christ has becomes the property of the believing soul; everything which the soul has becomes the property of the Christ. Christ possesses all blessings and eternal life: they are thenceforward the property of the soul. The soul has all the iniquities and sins: they become thenceforward the property of Christ. It is then a blessed exchange commences.
We have become one with Christ, and there is no shame.