Sex is an event in time and space but its implication and purpose reach far beyond. It is a place where Heaven and Earth collide and overlap and merge and become one. And in order to understand this we have to first look at marriage.
If you read the biblical creation account you will find that sex was around before humans. God commanded all living creatures to be fruitful and multiply (that means they had sex). So sex predates humans and thus predates marriage. And that’s important to understand.
Thanks for reading this posts. I hope it was helpful.
I’m just kidding. There’s more to discuss.
With every other creature, male and female were created simultaneously, and given the command to be fruitful and multiply. But with Humans God creates them separately. So why change the pattern?
Because God gives people a greater responsibility than simply to carry on the human race. God calls human sexuality beyond the physical and into the mystery of creation. Namely, God gives people marriage.
And for the rest of Scripture marriage is used to paint a picture of God and his people, Jesus and his Bride, and the unity that exist in God. Along with that we see that whenever sex is taken outside of marriage it’s seen as destructive.
Let’s dig in.
Two Become One.
Two individuals become one through sex. The sexual experience does away with the individual and makes a new entity, a oneness.
This is a big idea. No longer do two people exist because they have begun to merge into each other. They are becoming a community where body, and soul, and spirit are mingled and mixed into each other. Two people become one person because sex and marriage supersede our individuality.
The Unity of the Trinity
When two people become one flesh they display Trinitarian nature of God. God exist as a community of three persons known as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And at the same time God is one person. The idea of the Trinity is a very deep and complex concept. Sure I could give several ways to understand the Trinity but they would all fall short of truly expressing this oneness.
That’s where marriage comes in. As married couples spend more and more time with each other they grow in intimacy. This intimate knowledge transcends them as individuals and community they have with one another is bigger and stronger than their individual existence; they are one entity even though they are two people. This is a picture of God’s communal existence.
Jesus and His Bride.
In John 17:21, Jesus prays that in the same way that he and the Father are one, so might those who believe be one with him and each other. When Paul writes about marriage and two becoming one he says this, “This mystery is profound and I am saying it pertains to Christ and the Church”. So marriage and sex are profoundly linked to Jesus’ relationship with his Church.
This means that the institution of marriage (and thus, sex) doesn’t just point to, but is the tangible reality of this relationship. Sex is a physical sign of the oneness Jesus shares with his church.
Heaven and Earth Become One.
At some point in the future Heaven and Earth merge into one singular place. The letter of John’s Revelation describes a scene where God’s heavenly city of Jerusalem descends to earth and there is no need for the sun because God’s glory is fully known in all the earth. There’s more to the story, but ultimately the unity that exist in God is completely realized inside of creation. That is to say, that the community shared between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will be fully known by all of creation.
Sex is a sign pointing us to that day. And here’s an interesting side note: In that day there will be no marriage or sex. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of this day saying that people won’t be married and they won’t be given in marriage. Why?
Because we won’t need the sign. We won’t need the picture because we will experience the real thing. But until that day sex is the responsibility of married couples to show the world the unity that God has planned.
So sex and marriage are pictures, painted with small strokes, of the reality painted across the universe with big stokes.