Five impediments to the marriage of Christ and his bride

Here’s some classic (abridged) Ebenezer Erskine on the eternal will of God to marry his Son to the elect and the five ways the Son removes the impediments out of deep love for his bride to be.  This is truly the greatest romance of all time:

God the Father, from all eternity, had a purpose of marriage between his own beloved Son, and a select company of he fallen race and posterity of Adam (Matt 22:2)

The proposal of marriage was graciously received and entertained by the Son of God before the world was made.

So much was the heart of the Bridegroom set upon the match, he undertook to remove all impediments that lay in the way: and indeed the impediments were so great and insuperable, that nothing but almighty power, inspired with infinite and amazing love, could remove them: and yet they are all rolled away by the wisdom and power of the Bridegroom.

The first impediment was the inequality of parties as to their nature…. How shall God and man, the creator and the creature, ever be brought unto a conjugal relation? The distance of natures is infinite, and therefore there can be no marriage. And so the Son says…I will assume human nature, offspring of Abraham, descendent of David, Emmanuel, God with them and so that impediment shall be removed.

Second, the Law has an action against the supposed bride. She disobeyed the law and played the harlot and she is under the curse of the law and therefore there can be no marriage. And so the Son says “I will remove this impediment also, I will be made a curse for her, and so redeem her from the curse: I will cancel the written code against her.”

Third, says Justice, complete satisfaction demands death, for without the shedding of blood there can be no remission for sin. “Well”, says the Bridegroom, “I will die for the bride, and in her room and stead: the sword of justice shall be soaked in my blood instead of hers: My life shall be a ransom for hers.

Fourth, there is another impediment that must be removed; the bride hates the bridegroom; she is wholly averse to the match. “Well”, says the bridegroom, “I will undertake to gain her affection. I will draw her with the cords of a man, and with the bands of love; and then her affections shall be gained and she shall call me Ishi.”

Fifth, the bride is a lawful captive to sin and Satan and Satan will not let her go. Well but says the blessed bridegroom, Satan, it is true, justice and law are on your side, but I will fulfill the law and satisfy justice and in so doing your head will be bruised and the lawful captive delivered, and the prey shall be taken from the terrible. I will redeem her by purchase and by power.

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