The Supremacy of Christ
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 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. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the first born from among the dead, so that in everything he might have supremacy. For 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.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. 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 – 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. (Colossians 1:15-23)
Jesus is the image of God: (The exact manifestation of God.) When we look at the life of Jesus, how he lived and engaged in the world around him, his sacrificial love, expressed in word and deed, we see God’s heart and character in action. We in turn are called to reflect this character to all around us.
Everything was created for and by Jesus: Jesus is Lord of everyone and everything. The Kingdom of God has become a present reality in history, in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the Head of the body, the church: The Lordship of Jesus is the foundation of both the life and the mission of the church. The authority ascribed to Jesus here in Colossians and in Matthew 28:18 (“All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me”) precedes the command given to us to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything Jesus had commanded.” (Matthew 28:19-20). It is because Jesus has all authority and is Lord of all that we have a message to proclaim with authority.
Reconcile all things to God through Jesus: The good news of the Gospel is not only about a personal / individual salvation, it is about
a reconciliation of all things to God. For an individual, the process of transformation starts as we yield our lives over to God to recreate in us the image of Jesus, and continues throughout our lives. What distinguishes us and separates us out is not our legalistic adherence to religious rules but rather our lifestyle which should reflect the love and justice of the Kingdom of God – in other words as we mirror and manifest Christ to all around us. We need to reflect God’s purpose to transform human life in all it dimensions. This means living out our distinct Jesus likeness in all areas of our life: public, personal, social, spiritual and material. In so doing we become a magnet and a light to those around us.
Supremacy of Christ: Jesus is the head of the body – it is he that has all authority in heaven and earth. It is Jesus who has supremacy, not the church! This is an important reality. If we put our hope in the church we will be hurt, disillusioned and disappointed as we the church are often in a broken and prideful state. We need to put our hope and vision in Jesus, and stand in awe that he has chosen us, the church, as broken as we are, to be his bride, knowing that he will complete the work he has begun in us and present us spotless before the throne.
Reflection: as we have spent time this Easter considering all that Christ has done for us, let us not lose heart, but take courage and continue to run the race set before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus.
If you are like me and at times feel discouraged by the power plays in the church, the broken relationships, the judgemental attitudes, the resistance to change; take heart and focus on Jesus who is Lord of everyone and everything. This is not a time to opt out – this is a time to stand before God and seek his mercy and intervention to transform our lives so that we may be brought to complete unity to let the world know the good news in Jesus Christ – the astounding news that God loves us!.
Let us today reflect this in all we are, all we say and in all we do. Amen.