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Here’s a recent epiphany I’ve been pondering:
Marriage is a consequence of death.
Let me unpack that a bit:
Christ taught that after the resurrection, there is no marriage.
“For they cannot die anymore.” (Luke 20:36)
The purpose of a marriage is to provide legal protection for a man to pass on an inheritance after his death.
Marriage was a contract to ensure that a man’s property would pass on to his own seed. This is why a man always hoped for a son to carry on his name. And virgin daughters were prized because they brought economic benefit to the man as well as valuable alliances with other men. The man was also guaranteed (exclusive) sexual access to a particular woman (to ensure it was his own seed he was investing his limited resources into.)
This is what the biblical marriage laws were all about: protecting the rights of the man.
But after the resurrection, marriage contracts become obsolete. A man who never dies has no need to pass on an inheritence. He becomes his own living legacy.
The Bible never teaches that we cease to be sexual beings after the resurrection.
We are told that we will be the “sons of God” and equal to the angels (messengers.) (Luke 20:36)
Many Christians do not realize that heavenly beings are still sexual creatures who reproduce:
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their [women] any they chose…The Nephilim [giants] were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
~ Genesis 6 (c.f. the Book of Enoch)
Over time, through the influence of the Church, marriage became a “permission slip” of sorts for a man to have sex instead of a useful legal institution to protect his property after death.
In fact, a man’s property is more at risk today if he enters a marriage contract than not.
By worshiping the temporary form of marriage, we become blinded to the true hope and glory of the gospel Paul preached to the nations:
That we will be resurrected with an imperishable celestial body.