Ephesians 5 of course draws an analogy between marriage and Christ’s relation to His church:
Verse 29, though, puts it differently. With Genesis 2’s phrase “one flesh” in view, Paul says that “no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church.” Here the analogy works this way:
These are equivalent comparisons because a man’s wife is husband of his bride. What’s striking here, however, are the Christo-ecclesiological implications. Paul’s analogy quite plainly implies that the church is the “flesh” of Christ, which He nourishes and cherishes as a man does His own body.