If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her. The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel (Deut. 25:5-6).
Who am I, but the brother who died without issue? Who am I, but the head who brought forth no spiritual fruit upon my own household, my own person?
Yet when I died, my brother took me up and brought forth fruit for me, in his name and yet also in mine.
Christ Jesus, the bridegroom, took up up his bride and made her fruitful in his union with her. And by the grace of adoption, I have not been entirely forgotten, but in death I yet live, bearing fruit to God by the power of God.
Thomas writes on Deuteronomy 25:56
“…a man should marry the wife of his deceased brother when the latter died without issue, as prescribed in Dt. 25:5,6: and this in order that he who could not have successors according to carnal origin, might at least have them by a kind of adoption, and that thus the deceased might not be entirely forgotten.”
What is this law and practice but a type of Christ, a shadow of the love of God in our elder Brother, who never forgot us, who brings forth fruit in himself and then in us, and by adoption reckons that fruit unto us.
So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God (Romans 7:4).