Dear Young People,

Long before the foundation of the earth was laid, God decided to create for Himself a special kind of race. He would give these creatures many of His own qualities. So they would have the power to reason, to be creative, to love deeply, to be compassionate, and so on. But the most amazing thing that God planned for them was that He would give them a free will with which they would freely choose Him. God loved them so much that he spent time with them everyday. You know, how parents love to watch their children play and listen to their children talk? God loved these special creatures much much more.

It so happened that these creatures were deceived by the devil and sinned. They could no longer come close to God because He is a holy God. So they went far away from God and become very wicked. Do you know who these creatures were? They were human beings. God knew that this would happen. He also knew long before that even if He tried to rescue them from the devil’s clutches, only some would respond. Even before He created them, He had planned their rescue. This rescue was not easy.

Young people, remember that our God is not only a God of love but also a righteous God. With Him, sin cannot go unpunished. Not only does the Bible teach that punishment for sin is death, it also teaches that there is one way by which sin can be forgiven. Shedding of blood—blood of a sinless human being—is the key to forgiveness. Heb 9:22 . . . without shedding of blood there is no remission.

No human being could possibly be sinless because they are all born in sin. But God had planned their rescue. No words can describe the wonder of that plan. For God sent His Son to earth as a human being—sinless and pure—to die for all those who He knew would choose to accept Him. Most people choose to ignore Jesus and His sacrifice. But a small number come to Him to be saved, and they are the church.

Can you imagine the love God feels for this group of people? He had dreamed about them, created them and watched them go away from Him. He had then, according to an ancient plan, redeemed them with the life of His Son. Needless to say, the church is the most precious of His creation. The Bible tells us that God the Father will one day give this special group of people to the Son as His bride.

Imagine that! A BRIDE!
God can speak to us only with language that we can understand. So in all of our human expressions, God chose to take the words BRIDE, BRIDEGROOM, and MARRIAGE to describe the relationship of the church to His Son Jesus. Don’t you think then, that there must be something very special about this relationship?

Read this passage very carefully. Some blanks have been left for you to fill.

Eph 5:23-32
For the husband is ___________ of the wife, as also Christ is ___________ of the church; and He is the ___________ of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to ___________ so let the wives be to their own ___________ in everything. Husbands, ___________ your wives, just as Christ also loved the ___________ and ___________ Himself for her, that He might sanctify and ___________ her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious ___________, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be ___________ and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own ___________; he who loves his wife loves ___________. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the ______________. For we are members of His ___________, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall ___________ his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one ___________.” This is a great ___________, but I speak concerning Christ and the ___________.

Christ’s relationship with us, His church, is a mystery. O how much He loves us. We do not know even a fraction of the blessings He has planned for us. But we can trust Him because He did not hesitate to die for us, redeem us, and keep us in His care for ever. In the Bible, His love for us has been compared to marriage. Of all the relationships on earth, God chose marriage to describe Christ’s relationship with us, the church.

(Nahomi Dhinakar; Published in Youth Column of Dhyanamlar Oct 2004) Click here for other Youth Column articles