In Everything, Supremacy
Lord, I sing of You: “Crown him with many crowns, the Lamb upon his throne” (Matthew Bridges, 1800–1894).
Read COLOSSIANS 1:15–23
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 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.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
If verse16 is true, then the voice that said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” is the same voice that said, “Let there be light.”
It is not uncommon to hear that it is OK to be a Christian, as long as you don’t universalize Jesus as the Savior of the entire world. With so many religious alternatives, why be exclusive? In today’s passage Paul affirms that Jesus Christ may not be reduced to one option among many. He declares that “in everything he might have the supremacy” (18). Christianity is inescapably exclusive, because of the inescapably exclusive claims of Christ.
First, Paul affirms Christ’s unique relationship to God (15). All religions ask, “What is God like?” Paul replies that Christ is “the image of the invisible God.” Seeing Jesus is seeing the God who cannot be seen. The fullness of God resides in him (19). Jesus is 100 percent of whatever God is. Everything about God is encapsulated in Jesus.
Second, Paul affirms Christ’s unique relationship to the universe. If our first question is, “What is God like?” then the second is, “Why are we here?” Paul answers that question at both a personal and a cosmic level. At the center of creation lies a divine person (17), who predated the universe, is the agent of creation (16) and sustains all things (17).
The third reason why Christ must have supremacy is his unique work on the cross. A related question is, “Does God care?” Paul assures us that Christ came to restore and to reconcile (21,22). He is not some distant God, but through Christ’s “physical body” (22) he has rescued us from sin and made peace with God for us (20). No wonder we are called to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to Christ (23). We can give our lives fully to him because he is the safest guide in the universe.
It’s not easy today to proclaim the uniqueness of Christ. Pray for those who are seeking to present young people with compelling apologetics for the person of Christ.
Lord, I hold You as fully supreme in authority because You created all things, including me.