Key Verse: Colossians 1:19, 20 “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness, should dwell, 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.”
Take a good long look at verses 15-23. It is a lesson in Christology. Verses 15-18 tells us Jesus is. Verses 19-23 tell its what God the Father has done for sinful mankind through God the Son. These are nine verses worth memorizing.
Who is Jesus? Relative to God the Father, He is “the image of the invisible God” (15a); relative to creation, He is “the first-born over all creation” (15b). Both “image” and “first-born” had great meaning in Paul’s day — they both were titles of sovereignty. Paul’s use of “first-born” has its roots in Israel’s messianic hope (a king born of David’s line who would be called, among other titles “mighty God”) and “the image of the invisible God” refers to the great Revealer of that mighty God to humankind locked in space and time. To “reveal” means “to uncover oneself” — God had to “uncover” Himself from eternity to man living in a limited universe, and He chose to do so in terms man could understand. That’s why He became one of us.
But, at the same time, Jesus is both the means and the purpose for creation (v. 16). He holds “all things” together, even while He pre-exists all things (v.17) — “he is the beginning” (v. 18b). Yet, in the context of our history, He is the “head” of the Church and also the “first-born from the dead” (v. 18a, c).
In God, the Son, God the Father dwells fully (v. 19) and, through His physical blood shed on a wooden cross, Jesus has made peace between sinful man and Holy God — we’ve been reconciled (v. 20). Now, instead of sinful, we are “holy in His sight” and “free from accusation” (v. 22 NIV).
In Christ, we are a new creation, and none who put their trust in Him will be disappointed.