Christ is the image of the invisible God
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 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 firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the 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.” – Colossians 1:13-20
The things we do in this life have an impact on the people around us. There is a story about a drug dealer who did very well, financially, from his illicit drug business. However, he did not know that the same person to whom he was supplying his drugs to sell on the street was his daughter’s supplier. He did not know that he was, indirectly, selling drugs to his own daughter.
In the above text, for the last Sunday in the church year, Paul wrote this epistle to the church at Colossi in order to guard the truth of the Gospel. Some teacher at Colossi was perverting the fundamental truth of the gospel and attempting to diminish the glory of Christ.
Consequently, in his letter to the church, he speaks of the inheritance of the saints. The people at Colossi had failed to grasp the reality of the finished work of Christ. His work at Calvary brought about a new relationship between God and man.
We who are in Christ Jesus have a liberation which was won by redemptive love: “For God so loved the world, he gave us his one and only son.”
Yes, redemption is freely offered to all through Jesus the Christ. All who are in a living relationship with Christ are members of the Kingdom of God.
In his attempt to get through to the Colossians, who were steeped in philosophical theology, removed from the Christian doctrine proclaimed by Paul and the other apostles, Paul explains the person of Christ.
Christ Jesus, he says, is the first born, who is the image of the invisible God. He was not born. He was before all creation or before any creature was made. This signifies that Christ has dominion over all things.
Paul points out to the Colossians that Christ is related to both the universe and to God. In fact, He is the image of the invisible God. He resembles, represents, and reveals the invisible God in the world.
The whole of creation is sustained and held together by Christ, the Son of God. He keeps order in the universe: “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Christ, Paul explains, is the head of the body; the Church. The apostle is showing here the significance of Christ and his place in human existence.
The first born of all creation came into the world to redeem humankind to himself. Consequently, the church came into being when the incarnate Christ lived through the tragedy of the cross and the grave. The “theme and scope of the Gospel is the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Yes, Christ lived and died for our eternal redemption. He humbled himself, took our human flesh and came to earth to save us. He is the image of the invisible God. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor of the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Drive, P. O. Box N4794, phone 242-426-9084, webpage: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.