Jesus sat with his disciples on the night before he was crucified and told them that his body and blood would be broken and poured out as a fulfillment of the new covenant between God and humankind.
This new covenant would bring a forgiveness of sins and restore a right relationship between God and His people.
Similarly, when a Christian is married, he or she makes a covenant with his or her spouse which is symbolized in exchanging rings and taking vows.
Most Christians have heard that this marriage covenant is supposed to mirror God’s covenant between Christ and the Church, but what does that really mean and what is the Biblical basis for this belief?
Several verses in the Bible make the connection between these covenants clear.
First, in Ephesians 5, Paul explains the clear parallel between these two covenants by telling husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church and wives to submit to their husbands as the Church submits to Christ.
Paul explains the husbands are the head of their wives as Christ is the head of the Church, and that they are to be willing to give up their lives for the wives just as Christ gave his life to save us.
In addition, throughout scripture, Jesus is referred to as the bridegroom and the Church, His bride. For example, Revelation 19 speaks of the “marriage supper of the Lamb,” Jesus, and his Bride which represents the Church, and in both John 3:29 and Mark 2.19, Jesus is referred to as the bridegroom.
Clearly, scripture wants us to think about these two covenants in similar ways, but what can we learn from this parallel and what about Christ’s covenant with us can we apply to our own marriages?