Saturday March 23, 2013

Day 34 – The King

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Read
Colossians 1:15-20

15 Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

Reflect

Christianity, Judaism and Islam have certain features in common. However, the New Testament insists that God is the eternal and unique Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is prophet, priest and king. And he is much more: he is God incarnate. Colossians 1:15-20 is one of the most concise statements about Jesus.  We can identify three themes:

Jesus has a unique relationship with God (1:15). As the image of the invisible God he is the projection into the dimension of our space and time of the God who exists beyond those dimensions. If we ask what God is like, the best answer we can give is that he is like Jesus. Jesus has always been and will always perfectly reflect God. Furthermore, the logic of what Paul is saying is that Jesus existed before anything else in creation. By definition he was not created. He always was, is, and will be.

And there is something else here: in Jesus we see humanity as men and women were meant to be. Jesus is not only truly God: he is also the original proto-type for the human race. These are profound points that help us to understand ourselves. We are rational because God is rational; we are moral because God is moral; we have the capacity for relationship because God is personal.

This is why Christianity cannot be put on the same level as any other religion. Nobody else who has walked this earth could ever be described in terms of such unequivocal divinity as Jesus.

Jesus has a unique relationship to the universe: ‘By him all things were created’,… and ‘all things were created by him and for him’ (1:16). It is Jesus who put the universe together – he is the creating agent. And he is also the sustainer of this universe: in him all things hold together. Jesus is at the very heart of this unified, complex cosmos in which we find ourselves. This helps us make sense of life; we are not just part of a meaningless journey going nowhere. There is a purpose and a goal – that is all bound up with knowing Jesus Christ.

Jesus has a unique relationship with the church(1:18). The news each day and our own experiences in life reveal the tragic results of our alienation from God. There’s a moral alienation – hatred and greed and pain and death – that spoil the harmony and joy which God intended.

However, the extraordinary news is that God took the initiative and put in place a strategy to reverse this alienation. He didn’t abandon this evil and ungrateful world that rejected him. Rather, he has rescued it by dealing with his justified anger towards us. He destroyed the enmity without destroying the enemy. So he has paved the way for peace. And he has done this through Jesus’ blood shed on the cross. Because Jesus is God in human form he was able to achieve the peace that we long for.

Consider

  1. What does it mean for you that Jesus is more than a prophet – that he is God in the flesh?
  2. What are the implications for you that Jesus is Lord of creation?
  3. What often prevents us from experiencing the peace and joy that Jesus has made possible for us?

Pray

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