I may have had the biggest revelation of my life today - just now, in fact - and I'm verbalizing it here for the first time, because I wish I had come to realize this sooner. So I want to share it with everyone as soon as I possibly can in the hopes that it will click with them and help them not to dismiss things as antiquated rules simply because we don't understand them.
In fact, everything in the Bible just took on new, deeper meaning in light of this. As soon as I finish here, I'm going back to reread as much of it as I can before I fall asleep. The more I think about it all, the more excited I get.
It really all makes perfect, simple sense.
Once you can fully (well, as close to fully as possible) wrap your mind around this one fact:
G-d is not a linear being.
Don't get intimidated by the science/math speak and click away. This is important to understand.
To reach a bigger audience, I want to also reference Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. In the book, the characters utilize something called a Tesseract. L'Engle's explanation of this (below) has helped me to understand G-d a bit more.
We, like all things on this planet, exist in a linear fashion, with a definite beginning and a definite end (at least while we're on Earth). We currently exist in the same state as the insect was originally. We have never known anything outside of that state and cannot fathom anything outside of that state, much like a fetus cannot fathom anything so otherworldly as breathing air. The latter state, the simplest explanation of a Tesseract, is so far outside of a line, that linear beings cannot really comprehend it.
Now, I'm not so audacious as to claim that G-d exists in a state of Tesseract. Personally, I believe He exists in a plane beyond that somewhere. My point is that, G-d exists in a state that encompasses our own so completely that we cannot comprehend it; it could never fit into our understanding. This also means that He encompasses our entire state of being at all times.
Let me break down what this means a little bit.
G-d is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. Yes. Of course. Because all of those times exist simultaneously for Him. It's not so much that He's unchanging as He's omnipresent. Those are all the same thing. A=A. It's like thinking, "Wow, this bite of doughnut that I'm chewing still happens to taste good!" - It's ridiculous to think anything else. All of those are subpar explanations, but I hope you were expecting that, because, as I said, we're dealing with something outside of our scope of experience.
Everything the Bible says about sex and marriage that we don't really like... Yeah, G-d knew what He was talking about. Of course. Of course it's cheating on your future spouse to sleep with anyone else (Hebrews 13:4, among many others). In fact, the much debated (even taboo) verse in the Bible that says not to divorce and not to remarry if you do (1 Corinthians 7:10-11) makes sense in light of this. G-d is in all of our moments at the same time, so, to Him, we are too. To us it feels like it's all unfolding slowly: things end; other things start. But not to G-d. To Him, I was just as married to my (hopefully existent) husband the day I was born as I will be on our 50th wedding anniversary. Anything I do "before" or "after" I meet him is just the same to G-d.
Sin really does irrevocably separate us from G-d. And nothing, NOTHING we ever do can change that. It's not that He wants that. It's devastating for Him. But that's simply the plain, honest truth. Think about the magnitude of this thing: If all moments are actually one moment, then we are constantly committing each and every sin in our lives. There is nothing we can do. Nothing.
The magnitude of what Christ did on the cross is heart-stopping. Every moment for all of eternity in every direction and every plane of existence, Christ is being tortured to death to atone for those sins that also exist on that spectrum. Every sin we could possible commit is erased the moment we do it, because Christ takes it on in that moment. We are constantly clean. We are constantly made new.
All praise to G-d, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. (Eph. 1:3 NLT)