I started reading Colossians 1:15-24 because I thought it would be a good section to think about and memorise, but reading it has felt like a sucker punch!
Few passages exhibit Jesus’ power as vastly and clearly as this one. It’s been a helpful passage to contrast with the Easter readings I’ve been hearing at church.
As I worship a crucified Saviour, I must not forget his awesome majesty!
Here is a flavour for you:
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by 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.
He has always existed, and there are no contenders for his power. He is first in all things, and all things exist for him! He sustains and controls the universe in ultimate knowledge and wisdom.
“All authorities and power are created by him and for him.”
” In him all things hold together.”
If I really believe that this is what Jesus is like, that this is how far his authority reaches, and this is the level of power that he wields, it should change a lot of things!
If Jesus is the beginning of everything and the end, then he sustains me and my circumstances too, and deserves my awe and worship.
As I’ve read and reread these verses, I’ve been amazed at the unlimited, supreme power of Christ that they reveal.
Yet this could only lead to hopeless fear without the verses that follow, for how can weak, rebellious humans like us stand under the scrutiny of such a powerful being?
In Revelation the final book of the Bible, Chapter 1:17, Jesus himself tells us “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last”. Jesus’ sovereignty, his supremacy, his ‘firstness’ can take away our fear if we let him.
This is how:
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 behaviour. 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
He uses his power and authority to reconcile, to restore.
The peace that he offers cannot be cancelled, and there is no override, but it must first be accepted.
His control means that we don’t need to fear our lack of control. His eternal power means that we don’t need to fear our weakness.
But he does deserve our worship and allegiance. How could any of us make a claim to such a throne?
“he is the head of the body, the church”
Though once alienated enemies, we are reconciled to this powerful king, our relationship is now one of peace, lovingly bought with his lifeblood. We are free from accusation.
These verses call us to submit to him in awe, but also to come to him in joy and worship!
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. Revelation 1:17-18
May your Easter be filled with rightful awe and joyful worship.