Tuesday 22nd September 2020
Colossians Christ is the Head of All Creation
Colossians 1: 15-20
He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation;
for in him all things were created
in heaven and on earth,
things visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers
all things have been created through him and for him.
He himself is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body,
He is the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead,so that he might come to have first place in everything.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things,
whether on earth or in heaven,
by making peace through the blood of his cross.
Many Bibles set this passage out as prose, but I’ve laid the words out as a poem to emphasise that is a poem, based on the different meanings of the Hebrew word for ‘head’. As in English, so in Hebrew, the relevant word can carry several different ideas, and Paul is cleverly exploring and exploiting some of them.
Jesus Christ, he says, is the ﬁrstborn. That’s the ﬁrst meaning, which comes twice. Jesus Christ is supreme. Jesus Christ is the head of the body, which is the Church. Jesus Christ is the beginning. Paul uses this to remind the Colossians that the more they get to know, and know about, Jesus Christ, the more they will understand who the true God is and what he’s done; who they are as a result; and what it means to live in and for him.
There are three things in particular which the poem reminds us about Jesus:
It’s by looking at Jesus that we discover who God is. Jesus is ‘the image of God, the invisible one’. Nobody has ever seen God, but in
- Jesus he has come near to us and become one of us.
- Jesus holds together the ordinary world that we live in, and the new world that is to come.
- Jesus is the blueprint for the genuine humanness which is on offer through the gospel.
As the head of the body, the Church; as the ﬁrst to rise again from the dead; as the one through whose cruel death God has dealt with our sins and brought us peace and reconciliation; and, above all, as the one through whom the new creation has now begun. in all these ways, Jesus is himself the one in whom we are called to discover the fullness of what the best of being human means.
Loving heavenly Father, we have not seen you. We don’t even know what it might mean to see you, but you have shown us Jesus, and because we have seen him, we have seen you.
Help us grasp what it means that everything was created by him who was before all things, and that all these things hold together through him.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.