This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.Ephesians 5:32(NASB)
The Word of God gives much importance to the institution of marriage and the intimate relationship and responsibilities between a man and a woman when they are joined in holy matrimony, for marriage is a sacred reflection of the union between Christ and His Church and was ordained by the Triune God in the eternal council chambers of heaven, before the world began.
It was God who instituted the marriage bond, and He laid out the important roles and responsibilities that husbands and wives have towards one another.
Marriage supersedes the parent-child relationship, for we read in Genesis that a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh.
This passage gives important instruction to believers on the responsibilities we have within our marriages, the unequalled intimacy that exists in a marriage relationship, and the higher loyalty that is expected of every married couple. Paul uses the close, marriage bond between a man and his wife, as a beautiful picture of the intimacy that exists between the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. Indeed, marriage is a reflection of this heavenly bond between Christ and His Church and not the other way around.
Christ is often called the Bridegroom and the Christian Church is similarly identified as His Bride, for though we are many in number we are one Church who by faith in Him have one hope of our calling. We have been supernaturally joined with Christ by the one Spirit and are already eternally united with Him.
In Christ, we have become partakers of a heavenly calling and are to be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, for He has given us the Holy Spirit of life and truth and we worship One God and Father of all Who is over all and through all and in us all.
Paul calls this intimate 'marriage' relationship Christ has with His Church, 'a great mystery'. It is a wonderful truth that should encourage our hearts and fill us with joy, for as a wife is to her husband so is the Church to the Lord Jesus.
By labelling our intimate relationship with Him as a 'mystery' does not mean that it is mysterious or esoteric. Rather, the intimate relationship that God's Son has with His Bride was hidden from earlier generations, but now has been revealed to us through Paul. Its implications are astounding, wonderful, glorious, and overwhelming, for in some inexplicable way the Church, which is His Body, is intimately and eternally united with Christ – for we died in Him and are risen together with Him into newness of life – in Him.
We who were far away from God, have been called out of every nation and tribe and people and language to become united as the Body and Bride of God's only begotten Son Who loved the Church so much that "He gave Himself for her." He loved us so dearly that He made Himself an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma on our account.
May we who have become His Body and Bride by faith, also live every day of our life by faith in the Son of God Who loved us and gave Himself up for us. May we occupy until He comes and obey His command to love others with the same supernatural love with which He loves us.
May we listen daily for the trump of God and the voice of the archangel, when the dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptible and we who are still alive will be changed into His likeness in the twinkling of an eye. May we eagerly look for His soon return when He comes for His saints, for then we shall see Him as His is and we will be like HIM.
Heavenly Father, thank You for revealing this wonderful mystery to me, that my relationship with the Lord Jesus is as special and intimate as that between a husband and his wife. May we all who are His Body and Bride, live together in the unity of the Spirit, in a bond of peace, and to the honour of His holy name. He gave His life because of His love of the Church. May we all reflect that love to those around us. In Jesus' name, AMEN.