We’re looking here at one of my favourite passages in the Bible. This passage speaks to the centrality of Jesus in all things. I find this passage inspiring and I hope you do too!
“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[g] 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.” (Col 1:15-23)
Paul, writing this letter to Colossian church, begins this passage by establishing the superiority of Jesus. In contrast to false teaching that had become popular at Colossae, Paul ensures that the Colossians understand that Jesus is not just ‘a’ deity but he is in fact the very image of God. In speaking of creation Paul makes the point that Christ is supreme over creation because he created it, he existed in eternity before creation and he continues to hold creation together. Essentially what Paul is saying is that Jesus is not some backwater minor deity to be considered amongst other deities or spiritual beings. I think if people fully grasped this little passage right here we would probably stop what we are doing and simply revel in awe over Jesus. We know that the earth revolves around the sun, but on a broader level, the entire universe revolves around Jesus.
Paul goes on to say that Christ is the head of the church. In the fall at CCC we worked through a series on the church, the body of Christ. We discovered that the body is a common metaphor that Paul uses to describe the church. As we read it here it suggests a few features of the church. The church is a living organism which means that the followers of Jesus are connected to each other through Jesus. Thus, the union between Christ and the church is not just a metaphor, it is real and intimate. Jesus says in John 15:5 ““I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” We see that Jesus is central to the church and to his followers. This means that Jesus knows and understands how we are feeling; he knows what we need to do in all situations. At Crossroads as we move forward in dealing with the arson attempt on our church it’s important to trust that Jesus is central to this situation and he will provide wisdom, clarity and opportunities as people stay close to him.
Understanding the centrality of Christ is crucial to understanding the final point we’ll look at as Paul moves on to talking about Christ’s reconciling work. We see in this passage that without Christ there is no possibility of reconciliation. Reconciliation ultimately refers back to salvation. Without Christ evil and sin stand between people and God. Jesus died on the cross to provide reconciliation between God and people. As people are reconciled to God through Christ, they are able to enter God’s presence without the barrier of sin. As Paul says “without blemish and free from accusation.” (Col 1:22) What a promise! People spend a lot of time and money to remove or correct physical blemishes on their bodies, and just as there are blemishes on our physical bodies we have blemishes on our spirit caused by sin. There is however no need for the latest miracle product, the simple solution is a relationship with Jesus. As people are reconciled to God they are without blemish in God’s eyes and also free from accusation. The devil would accuse people of their sin and wrong deeds in order to pile on guilt and overwhelm people with hopelessness. However, Jesus has removed the penalty and accusation of sin from all those who put their trust in him as saviour. Previously in this passage Paul has said “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.” (Col 1:21) Now anyone who follows Christ is no longer alienated from God. Jesus is the centre of the universe, he is at the centre of the church and he is at the centre of individual faith.
One of the greatest things about following Jesus is that there is always hope for tomorrow no matter how dark today may get. Remember that Jesus is always at the center. Jesus is always in control. Jesus is always reconciling people to himself.
 Expositors Bible Commentary Abridged Edition page 820