This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (ESV)
So much has been said about marriage. Marriage is the foundation of the family. Throughout all of the centuries of human history we have had marriage. As we have already discovered, marriage is an institution given to us directly by God. It is his plan for mankind that we commit to one another in marriage and produce children that are raised to know and honor him.
But, Paul takes this one step further for us. After these verses in which he has expounded on the marriage relationship, he reveals to us a mystery. This is a mystery that many generations of humankind could not possibly have understood. In fact, thousands of years had gone by before the Apostle Paul revealed, by the Holy Spirit, this mystery.
What is the mystery? Marriage is given as a picture of the relationship of Christ and the church! All of the Old Testament used shadows and images to describe the coming Messiah. It was a mystery! When Jesus came, gave his perfect life as a sacrifice, and rose again from the dead, we understood that Jesus Christ was the Messiah. Mystery solved!
Now, Paul says that after all of these years of marriage relationships being established, there is a mystery solved. Marriage refers to not only the love of a man and a woman in covenant relationship. Marriage refers to Christ and his relationship to the Church, his bride. Do you get the gravity of that? And do you see how important purity is in our marriages? If you want people to understand the amazing love that Christ has for the church, your marriage ought to be an example of a loving covenant relationship that others could look at and be drawn to Christ.
Mystery solved! Marriage needs to point people to Jesus. How is your marriage? Is it pointing people to the Savior? If you are not married, consider that when you do get married you are called to marry only a godly partner, and prioritize your marriage to be an example that will point others to the love of Christ.