35: Christ suffered and died to give marriage its deepest meaning

This is part 35 of 50 in a series based on the book ‘Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die’. Read the introductory post or view all the posts in the series.

Ref: Ephesians 5:25.

God’s design for marriage in the Bible pictures the husband loving his wife the way Christ loves his people, and the wife responding to her husband the way Christ’s people should respond to him. This picture was in God’s mind when he sent Christ into the world. Christ came for his bride and died for her to display the way marriage was meant to be.
No, the point of the analogy is not that husbands should suffer at the hands of their wives. […] [T]he point of the analogy is how Jesus loved them to the point of death and did not cast them away.

Husbands are not Christ. But they are called to be like him. And the specific point of likeness is the husband’s readiness to suffer for his wife’s good without threatening or abusing her. This includes suffering to protect her from any outside forces that would harm her, as well as suffering disappointments or abuses even from her. This kind of love is possible because Christ died for both husband and wife. Their sins are forgiven. Neither needs to make the other suffer for sins. Christ has borne that suffering. Now as two sinful and forgiven people we can return good for evil.

—Pages 88, 89

As the apostle Paul said, “This is a mystery.”