THE MAXIMUM LORD AND ME
Mighty God, you are my hope when all else fails; my solid rock, firm and secure, on whom I can depend. Thank you Lord.
Read COLOSSIANS 1:15-23
The Supremacy of the Son of God
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[a] 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.
- Colossians 1:21 Or minds, as shown by
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.
‘Take my life, and let it be / consecrated, Lord, to thee; / take my moments and my days, / let them flow in ceaseless praise.’1
I remember seeing a poster about three possible positions the Lord Jesus can occupy in Christian lives. In all he is present; in some he is prominent; in a few he is pre-eminent. The heresy infecting the Colossian church (see the Introduction) kept Jesus at the lowest level because it claimed that other powers, other secret knowledge and extra instructions were also necessary. By refuting this heresy Paul makes exclusive claims for Jesus in this stupendous praise passage. This is Jesus at the maximum, the pre-eminent Savior. His image (v 15) reveals God by his very nature and being. As firstborn (v 15) he exists before creation, is active in creation (v 16)2 and is intimately involved in reconciling every part of creation (v 17). Note the repetitions of ‘all’. There are no invisible powers or extras beyond his control. In everything he has supremacy (v 18).
Right in the middle of these awesome claims we find ourselves! Jesus is also head of the body, the church (v 18). The all-important outcome for us and the world is that Jesus, through his death on the cross, reconciles all things to God (v 20). Rebellious creation is brought into ‘at-one-ment’. Among these theologically dense descriptions, the word ‘blood’ cuts through with violent realism. It is meant to, for only by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross are we reconciled, free to live clean new lives (v 22). What a testimony – once enemies in our minds because of our evil behavior, now holy in God’s sight (vs 21,22). These soaring claims for who Jesus is and what he has done as Savior is the good news to be shared worldwide (v 23).
As we celebrate the incarnation, consider this perspective to Jesus’ humble birth: ‘The incarnate Deity, / our God contracted to a span, / incomprehensibly made man.’3
Lord Jesus, I want you to be pre-eminent in my life. I want you to increase in my life as I decrease. I want you to be the king of my life.
1 Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836–79 2 See John 1:1–14 3 Charles Wesley, 1707–88, ‘Let earth and heaven combine’
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