September 29, 2022
“And the man said, “This one, at last, is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called woman, for she was taken from man.” This is why a man leaves his father and mother...”
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“And the man said, “This one, at last, is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called woman, for she was taken from man.” This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh. Both the man and his wife were naked, yet they felt no shame.” Genesis 2:23-25
Several years ago, I was sitting in a movie theater in Memphis when I heard Tom Cruise utter those fateful words to Renee Zellweger, “You complete me….” It all seemed sweet at the moment, but in the months to follow, I heard football players, waiters, cab drivers, and even Austin Powers’ “Dr. Evil” repeating the phrase. Removed from their proper setting, these words lost their romantic inclinations.
As far back as the Garden of Eden, it was apparent to both God and Adam that 1) Mankind is not meant to be alone, and 2) Even a sinless man (as Adam was at the time) cannot, apart from Divine intervention, find enduring communion with God. In short, man needed woman for his life to be complete, and God knew that.
Even the word “mankind” tells us that Adam was a creature of a certain kind. So, after parading all the animals past Adam, God made him a creature of his own “kind,” one that actually came from his own flesh. Important to note is that God could have made Adam another dude, a guy who shared his passions for sports and shoot-em-up movies. But In His wisdom, the Lord made a woman for Adam. The Lord instituted marriage to be between man and woman, and nowhere in Scripture does He indicate otherwise. So, there we have it, man & woman: a perfect, God-made match. But where does that leave God in terms of personal relationship & communion with His human creation?
“Creature” could never elevate itself to the level of “Creator.” So, the only way for communion to happen between the two is for the Creator to 1) Condescend, “come down” to the level of the Creature, or 2) Elevate the Creature. In both instances, true communion with God is only found in the “God-man” Jesus.
Made greater than the animals and a little lower than the angels, mankind has always been the object of God’s affection. Redemption & adoption, through Messiah Jesus, is God’s solution to our inability to commune with Him.
In the flesh, man is incomplete without woman. She restores to him what is missing in his flesh. The gravity between man & woman is so strong that both will leave their families just to attach themselves to each other. In the flesh, man & woman complete each other; “Rib” is restored to “body,” bringing wholeness.
But what of the Soul & Spirit? Only Messiah’s atonement and imputed righteousness make us whole spiritually. Perhaps, that is why the Bible calls Jesus the “Groom” and us (followers of Jesus) the “Bride.” Only He can complete what mankind lacks spiritually. Even before the fall of man, being complete in the flesh was not enough for true spiritual wholeness. There was “grace in the garden” even before there was sin.