Monday, August 03, 2015

The firstborn of creation - Colossians 1:15-17

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." (Colossians 1:15-17)
Jesus is the visible representation of the invisible God. While no one has seen God at any time, Jesus came to show us the Father and to explain God to us. John put it this way, "No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him." (John 1:18) God is not of this creation and His substance is invisible to our eyes. This is why He strictly forbade the Jews from making any statutes, images, or likenesses of Him for none can reveal His reality for He is invisible. "So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female..." (Deuteronomy 4:15-16)

For millennia, mankind has sought for some representation of God that they could place in their minds so that they might behold him. Jesus came as that representation. In Jesus, we see the Father. In Jesus we understand God. The term used here for Image is the Greek word from which we get our English word for Icon. In computers, and icon is a visual representation of a program that sits on our desktop. A visible representation of something invisible. In religion, an Icon is typically a picture used to being specific events or persons to remembrance. Jesus is the icon for God. He reveals God and brings God to remembrance.

Paul says that Jesus is the "firstborn" of creation. This does not mean, however, that Jesus was created or is of this creation. While God is invisible, Jesus shares basic properties of this creation; primarily that He can be seen, heard, and known. Of all we can see, know, and appreciate of this creation, Jesus is the first-most and the foremost of all. He is greater and more worthy of worship, honor, and adoration than anything else we can find in this creation. Of all we may ever have, know, or perceive; Jesus is the greatest of all.

Jesus is the creator of all things which is the very definition of what it means to be God. He who creates all things is the God of all things. However, more interestingly, not only have we been created by Him but we were also created for Him. Jesus created us for His pleasure and His purposes. Our lives are meant to be lived for Him and not ourselves. Only when we live for God can we truly find our purpose in life for we have been created for Him. Those who try and live for themselves will never find the life they were meant to live.

Finally, Paul encourages us that Jesus holds all things together. At times, when our faith is weak, we may feel like we have to "keep it together" or that, some how, it is all up to us. However, we are not the ones who keeps this world spinning but Jesus. At times it is OK to go to sleep knowing that some things are still broken and need fixing. In the morning God will still be there holding everything together and fixing what needs to be fixed. He is responsible for getting us through each day and keeping our life together. Our responsibility is simply to love and obey Him. What a relief that the universe does not need us every moment of the day or that we are need to solve every problem of the world. Let it go! Jesus will take care of it!

David Robison

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