Colossians 1:15 – “He is the image of the invisible God…” “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.” (NLT)
1. Christ alone is the Supreme Revealer of God (vs. 15)
‘In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.’ - Hebrews 1:1-3 (NIV)
‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.’ – John 1:14
“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” - John 14:9
Philip Yancey “I must admit that Jesus has revised in flesh many of my harsh and unpalatable notions about God... Martin Luther encouraged his students to flee the hidden God and run to Christ, and now I know why.
Philip Yancey “If I use a magnifying glass to examine a fine painting, the object in the center of the glass stays crisp and clear, while around the edges the view grows increasingly distorted. For me, Jesus has become the focal point.
15b (He is) 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.
2. Christ alone is the Supreme Ruler over all creation (vs. 15- 17)
This is good and liberating news for the religiously oppressed… for Christ is above all spiritual powers… whether angels, astrology, and avatars.
This is good and liberating news for the politically oppressed… for Christ is above all earthly powers.
Colossians 1:18-23 “ 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, not moved 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.”
Verses 19 -20 “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 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.”
1 John 5:11-13 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
Verse 18 – ‘And he is the head of the body, the church’
The church is the embodiment of a new creation that began in Christ.
There is simply no one else who intersects our existence in the way that Jesus the Christ has.
No other figure has ever been the fulfillment of historical prophecies that are fulfilled in him alone.
There is simply no one else who intersects our existence in the way that Jesus the Christ has. No one else who fulfilled prophecies of suffering and then being raised to glory… of being executed in profound innocence… and then rising from the dead as a declaration of his greater power.
There is simply no one else who intersects our existence in the way that Jesus the Christ has. No one else whose teachings radically transformed the way human beings live and love… ways of truth and equality and mercy.
There is simply no one else who intersects our existence in the way that Jesus the Christ has. No one else who stands so unique that every system of religious and spiritual belief have sought to connect to him or integrate him.