In my last post I shared with you that Jesus alone is worthy of our worship because he takes an active role in creation. In this post I will conclude my thoughts from Colossians 1:15-20.
Christ alone is worthy of our worship because he is our redeemer. (vv.18-20)
Not only did Christ take an active role in the creation of all things, he also takes on an active role in restoring the Father’s creation. Paul tells us that Jesus is the head of the body, the church. The life of the church is dependent on Jesus. He provides life for his church. We are all members of the same body, but Christ is what keeps the body alive. Without him we would swell up and die. In South Georgia where I am serving blueberries are one of the key cash crops. Those blueberry plants would die if they were cut off from their root source. The church depends on Jesus as its life source.
Jesus is the head of living organism called the church, but he is also axis of redemption because he is the firstborn from the dead. This reminds us about Christ being the new and better Adam. Death had no authority over Jesus as our new head. Jesus as God was the author of life. Death’s curse only extends to those who remain in Adam. Christ created Adam, so death had no dominion over him. I would encourage you to read Romans 5 to help you understand this more fully. Remember Paul’s point of this letter is that there is nothing superior to Jesus. He alone is worthy of our worship and devotion. (that in everything he might have the preeminence.) As redeemer Jesus conquered death.
He also contained all the fullness of God. (v.19) This verse literally translated can be rendered, “Because in him willed all the fullness to dwell.” God’s will was that Jesus would be fully divine. Jesus was never meant to be a lesser being. The Father willed that Jesus would contain his full and complete glory. God willed or decreed that all of his nature would be found in Jesus. Not just part of it, but the whole thing. There is a heightened appreciation for the work of the Father in verse 19. Jesus was a mistake or plan B, but God’s original plan A.
Only the God-Man could redeem us. He had to be one like us, but he had to be God. Jesus Christ is our kinsman redeemer. In him we have access to the throne of God.
Our hymn reaches its conclusion in verse 20, the final stanza of our hymn.
 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. Colossians 1:20 (NKJV)
Jesus has exchanged our hostility for friendship. That’s what the word reconcile means. Our relationship with God the Father was broken in Eden and finds its restoration in the person and work of Christ. There are three ways we can think about this work of reconciliation: (The New American Commentary)
1.) The Scope of Reconciliation: The whole creation; Jesus is working to reconcile all things to the Father. Humans were not the only ones’ to face the consequences of the Fall. If so, Paul would not have wrote all things in Colossians or the whole creation in Romans 8. All of creation has in some way or another been touched by sin. When I preached this passage I referred to harmony between humans and snakes. Before the fall in Eden humans and animals enjoyed a greater harmony than they do now. Christ’s work of redemption is for the human race, but it extends to the entire created order.
2.) The Goal of Reconciliation: To make peace through Christ’s shed blood on the cross. In Jewish circles one of the most common phrases you hear is Shalom, which means peace and mercy. Someone told me once that this peace is only present where sin is not. When Adam and Eve sinned in Eden they tried to hide from God because of the shame of their sin. We do the exact same thing when we sin. An example would be a child when they do wrong against their parents. Rather than running up to dad to hug him after work, the child who has done wrong (maybe a bad grade or smart mouth toward his mother) tries to avoid the parent. I recently heard a story about a contractor who did not complete a home construction project he promised to finish after the couple had already paid him. This contractor would see the couple in down and immediately turn his head down.
Sin destroys the harmonious relationship God intended us to have with Him, but there is good news for you! God has sent Christ to mend your broken relationship with him. You can have peace through Christ’s atonement. This peace is not merely a feeling but a present reality for the believer. The turmoil caused by sin is no match for Christ’s peacemaking work through the cross.
3.) The Means of Reconciliation: The cross is the only means by which our relationship with God is restored and we are allowed peace. Jesus work on the cross renews the harmony between creation and Creator. Only the cross of Jesus makes it possible for us to know God in the context of relationship.
Christ has done a beautiful work in restoring us to fellowship with the Father. God wants to restore our broken relationship. He invites us to come by faith and receive the engrafted word which is able to save our souls. That’s why Jesus alone is worthy of our worship, love, and obedience.
To conclude this post I would like for you to reflect on the hymn “See The Destined Day Arise.” These lyrics have been provided through the generous courtesy of Capitol Hill Baptist Church. I was introduced to this song through the ministry of Sylvan Park Free Will Baptist Church in Nashville Tennessee.
See the Destined Day Arise
Lyrics: Venantius Fortunatus (c.530-600), tr. Richard Mant (1837), Public Domain;
Alt. words, chorus lyrics, and music: Matt Merker, © 2014
See the destined day arise! See a willing sacrifice!
Jesus, to redeem our loss, hangs upon the shameful cross;
Jesus, who but You could bear wrath so great and justice fair?
Every pang and bitter throe, finishing your life of woe?
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Lamb of God for sinners slain!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Jesus Christ, we praise your name!
Who but Christ had dared to drain, steeped in gall, the cup of pain,
And with tender body bear thorns, and nails, and piercing spear?
Slain for us, the water flowed, mingled from your side with blood;
Sign to all attesting eyes of the finished sacrifice.
Holy Jesus, grant us grace in that sacrifice to place
All our trust for life renewed, pardoned sin, and promised good.
Grant us grace to sing your praise, ‘round your throne through endless days,
Ever with the sons of light: “Blessing, honor, glory, might!”
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