An excerpt from a sermon preached on Genesis 2:4-25, June 30, 2019 by the Rev. Justin Clemente at New Creation Church (Anglican), Hagerstown, MD. Week two of “Genesis: The Big Read,” a continuing sermon series through the whole book of Genesis, Ordinary Time 2019.
Jesus Christ – the True Spouse
Looking back on Eden from our side of the story, we should glory in God’s gift of marriage because God has made it a picture of his own love for us. When the Lord brings Eve to Adam, making her out of his rib, he knows that will be a picture of Jesus’ love for his people, his bride, as St. Paul so eloquently tells us in Ephesians 5. Bruce Waltke writes,
“A man and a woman are never more like God than on their wedding day when they commit themselves unconditionally to one another. Christ, the model, will go even further and die for the other. In marriage we imitate the gospel, giving up our rights and even our life for the other.” (Genesis, p.89)
I’ll finish with this quote from Augustine:
“Even in the beginning, when woman was made from a rib in the side of the sleeping man, that had no less a purpose than to symbolize prophetically the union of Christ and his church. Adam’s sleep was a mystical foreshadowing of Christ’s death, and when his dead body hanging from the cross was pierced by the lance, it was from this side that there issued forth that blood and water that, as we know, signifies the sacraments by which the church is built up. “Built” is the very word the Scripture uses in connection with Eve. ‘He built the rib into a woman.’ … So too St. Paul speaks of ‘building up the body of Christ,’ which is his church. … [I]f she was made in the way she was, this was to prefigure the oneness of Christ and the church.” (City of God, 22.17)