“And Pharisees came up and in order to test Him asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’ He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ They said, ‘Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.’ And Jesu said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.'” – Mark 10:1-12
The road to the cross is the road to reconciliation and restoration. Jesus will take every opportunity to remind us of the reason He is headed to Calvary on our behalf. The world is a broken masterpiece. Sin has not only affected our relationship with God and separated us from Him, but it has affected every horizontal relationship in this world as well…friendships, parents and children, siblings and marriages.
In this passage the Pharisees are trying to trap Jesus by bringing up the “sticky wicket” of divorce. He refers them to the command of Moses but uses it to point out how our fallen condition has affected our relationships. Jesus is making a distinction that important for us to remember on our Lenten journey and even as we stand at the foot of the cross. Because of sin, the world is not as it was originally intended. It has been broken by sin. Shattered by our rebellion and pride. The damage of sin is no more clearly seen then in our relationship with God and our relationships to others. But what seems like a paradise lost is redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus. He made a way where there was no way. The cross was necessary to restore creation to its original intention. What does that look like?
First and foremost, it is a reconciliation with our heavenly Father. Our sin had separated us from God which results in death. Because of our sin there is a great divide between us…”irreconcilable differences” and, like a broken marriage, we have been divorced from fellowship with God. However, “God so loved the world that He gave…” Through the work of Jesus on the cross we can enjoy an intimate fellowship with the Creator and experience life for eternity. Secondly, the cross is the only pathway to meaningful relationships with others. Only through a restored relationship with God can we experience healthy relationships to others. These relationships are characterized by an unconditional love, forgiveness and commitment. They have as much an eternal impact in the Kingdom of Heaven as our relationship with God.
In our world today, Jesus would remind us that meaningful relationships with God and with each other can only be experienced through a genuine faith in God by believing and receiving Jesus “like a child” (Mark 10:15). Our faith is the foundation to every relationship and it is only possible through Jesus.