When the image of the church as the body of Christ is conceived as indicating a monopersonal, ontological identification between Christ and the church, it is usually found to be something of a contrast with the image of the church as the bride of Christ, which is clearly an interpersonal rather than a monopersonal image. Thus, in most ecclesiologies that take this tack, the two contrasting images serve to dialectically “balance” one another.
However, the very notion that the two images are contrastive in this way, is I think, open to question once we abandon the notion of the body of Christ should be interpreted as indicating a mystical co-personhood. Rather, the image of the body points at once to the interdependence of the members of the church (1 Cor 12:14-26) and the singular and sovereign lordship of Christ over the church (Col 1:18; Eph 1:22-23). Thus, the image of the body, like that of the bride directs our attention to the interpersonal dimension of Christ’s relationship to the church. Christ relates to the church as it’s Head, its Lord and Source (which is a very probable translation of kephale, a fact that often goes unnoticed).
The way the bride image qualifies the image of the body, then, is not that it supplies an image of distinction whereas the body supplies an image of union. Rather, both together indicate the nature of the distinctly interpersonal union between Christ and the church. In the image of Christ as Head/Source he is seen as the Lord of the church to whom the church owes its existence entirely. In the image of Christ as Bridegroom, he is seen as the one who utterly and fully loves the church, to the point of giving up his own life for her. Both images speak to the nature of the utterly intimate, unbreakable communion between Christ and the people of God: Christ is at once their sovereign Lord ans Source, and their self-giving Servant who pours out his life for them in love.