We've been working our way through Paul's hymn about Jesus in Colossians 1:15-20, and over the last several days we've hit on these truths from just the first couple of verses:
- Jesus made the invisible God visible.
- Jesus holds a supreme position over all creation.
- All things were created by and for Jesus.
- Studying and meditating on Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords is good for our faith.
I got to spend time this weekend reading through commentaries on verses 17-20. There's so much to chew on!
17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Here are some thoughts on the main points:
Verse 17 - Jesus is the glue holding everything together and He's the one that got it all started. I like how F.F Bruce said we can't "press back into our imaginations" to find a time that Jesus wasn't. And now all that was made by Him is upheld and sustained by Him.
Christ yesterday, today, and forever!
Verse 18 - The head supplies life and direction to a body. The body does as the head commands. Christ, the head, is supplying (risen!) life to the Church, and the Church does as Christ commands. Apparently this doctrine is unique to Paul; I love the imagery. We're all interconnected with one another and all directed by our Head, Christ the Lord. Further, Christ is in charge, the supreme one, for He is the firstborn from among the dead.
Verse 19 & 20 - This verse is so tender. God was pleased. It can be easy to think of God as a distant One, a force or ruler giving the commands, with His arms crossed, keeping His watchful eye on us to make sure we don't screw up. But how beautiful that God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Christ. All that God is, Jesus is. Not only is Jesus making the invisible God visible (v. 15), but God is pleased that this is so. Beautiful! The Father loves the Son and His plan to save the world through Him.
Verse 20 - Jesus came to make peace. In this passage there's no mention of the fall or enmity between God and man, but in this verse we're reminded of the story. Through Christ, God was able to reconcile to himself all things, ... by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Things in both heaven and earth were not right, there was no peace. God had a plan, that pleased Him (!), to reconcile and bring peace through His Son - the very Son who was present at active in the creation of all things in heaven and on earth. The plan is so amazing. The reconciliation so complete with the shedding of Christ's blood. Bruce offers this thought:
The fullness of divine energy is manifested in Christ in the work of reconciliation as well as that of creation. (p. 74)
How can I summarize all of this to close?
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Creator, Preeminent over all things, Sustainer of all things, Upholder of all things, Head of the Church, God incarnate, Peacemaker, Sacrificed Savior - and this list does surely not exhaust all that we could say about Him.
May the you know the Truth,
and may He set you free.