Jesus Christ holds it all together.
This might seem like a church answer … and it is. But only as far as it goes back to our very existence. For as Jesus told the Jews during His earthly ministry when they questioned how He would have ever seen one of their spiritual fathers as a people, “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.’ So they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple (Jn. 8:58-59, ESV).”
Today, just like it was two millennia ago, the fact that Jesus Christ is exactly who He said He is can be a difficult reality to swallow for some. And as Pastor Mike Halstead pointed out in his sermon last Sunday, it can also be a challenging one to comprehend. Which is why this is such an important passage for us to consider when it comes to figuring out who exactly this Jesus character is as Paul describes Him. Here is what he says in Colossians 1:15-17 (ESV):
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and all that we ever see and experience in life points directly back to Him.
But if that were not enough to cause you some awe and wonder, Paul does not stop there. He gives us even more to consider in Colossians 1:18-20 (ESV):
And He is the head of the body, the Church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.
The Church reflects Jesus too, and it is in that reality that all of us who participate in our local church can reap the benefits.
For the many gifts Jesus freely offered at the Cross, one of the most beautiful is what happened when Jesus “cried out” to God His last breath and “the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom” (Matt. 27:50-51). No longer was there any separation between God and His presence with us every single day. Jesus’ mission during His earthly ministry was complete, and we all became the benefactors by His grace, mercy, and sacrifice alone. He saved us all, and as the “head” of the Church, the opportunity for us to fellowship with God and with one another under His watchful eye can never again be taken away. For the Church itself is held together by the unbreakable bond of Jesus Christ, and there is nothing that can strip His Church of its power to transform people’s lives when it is resolute and centered on His purposes. Something we see so clearly in the final part of our passage this week in Colossians 1:21-23 (ESV):
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the Gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven.”
Put another way, where Jesus made it possible for us to be “reconciled” to our Creator, we have no choice but to respond in kind. Because without Jesus as our lifeboat, we would be lost and without hope of even treading water amid such turmoil and storms in our world today. For He is the only thing strong enough to help us stay afloat.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:
- What are some of the things we learn about Jesus from this passage? Why are they important for us to know?
- How, if at all, does this passage in Colossians change your perspective of Jesus?
- What are some of the things you know now about Jesus that you did not before? At what point did your view of Him start to change?
- What are some of the things you still want to know about Jesus?
- Who in your life needs to know more about Jesus, and what do you want them to know?
“BETTER THAN” – OUR STUDY OF COLOSSIANS IN REVIEW …
Colossians 4:2-18: “Our Own Strength” / Blog post and Study Guide: “Starting Out Where it Ends”
Colossians 3:18-4:1: “Our Old Relationships” / Blog post and Study Guide: “Gracious Reflections of a Savior’s Love”
Colossians 3:12-17: “Clothed in Christ” / Blog post and Study Guide: “A New Suit Pressed With Timeless Truth”
Colossians 3:1-11: “Our Old Self” / Blog post and Study Guide: “Life After Brambles of Old News”
Colossians 2:16-23: “In Christ Alone” / Blog post and Study Guide: “The Disappearing Shadows of Faith”
Colossians 2:6-15: “Freedom in Christ” / Blog post and Study Guide: “God Is There and He’s Not Hiding From You”
Colossians 1:24-2:5: “Mystery Revealed” / Blog post and Study Guide: “A Mystery Worth Discovering”
Colossians 1:15-23: “The Supremacy of Christ” / Blog post and Study Guide: “Jesus Christ Holds It Together“
Colossians 1:1-14: “The Pressure of the World” / Blog post and Study Guide: “An ‘Others’ Kind of Faithfulness”