‘All of life is related to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ That is what one woman said at MBM. What a profound comment! At the heart of the bible is the gospel and at the heart of the gospel is the Lord Jesus, that must be the DNA of MBM, to know that Jesus is Lord of all, which means He answers the big question of life.
The Hitch Hikers guide to the Galaxy was a funny book seeking to find the answer to the meaning of life. The answer was 42. When we all know it's 1. It’s the wrong answer to the right question, so let’s see how Jesus is the right answer to the right question.
At the heart of a prayer of thanksgiving we are presented with the Son in whose kingdom we dwell. He is the image of the invisible God verse 15
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (NIV)
Christ makes the God who you cannot see known. You don't have to guess what God is like because you meet God in his Son, He is not just a pale reflection of who God is. Jesus is God! Later we read that all the fullness of the deity dwells in bodily form. That is why Jesus says to Philip ‘If you have seen me you have seen the Father.’ So as Christ stands to God, He is the perfect image but as He stands with the World, Christ is its creator.
First born is the language of supremacy. He is not part of Creation but supreme over creation. The first born gets the inheritance, He holds rank over all of it, if there is any doubt that Christ is not part of the creation verse 16 makes it plain.
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. (NIV)
Look at how comprehensive is the supremacy of Christ. There is nothing that Christ has not created. 'All things' by that he means things in heaven and earth. By that he includes things visible and invisible. By that he means
thrones, powers, rulers and authorities. If Jesus didn't make it, it doesn't exist, every corner of the universe is covered,
that includes the angels and demons, Jesus made the devil, not as the devil but as an angel who later rebelled. Do not think there is a spiritual battle between good and evil and its neck and neck. Jesus created hell for the devil and his angels.
The Colossians were tempted to pray to and worship angels. If your view of Christ is not supreme you will worship something else, if you’re into Christian religions its Mary, and the saints, if you’re into non-Christian religions its gods, and gurus, if its new age its angels and crystals. if you’re into the dark arts its demons, if you’re animist it will be spirits, if you’re atheist it will be your mind. Once you see Jesus in all his glory then to whom will you go?
Jesus is not No.1, He is the only one and He answers the big questions of life. Questions that people have been asking from the beginning of time, questions that children ask and that adults are afraid to ask or are too busy to ask or just forget to ask. Questions like: Who made me? Why do I exist? What is my reason in life? The answer is given in such simple words you could almost trip over it. Look at Colossians 1:16.
All things were created by him and for him. (NIV)
You exist for one reason, you were created to be in personal friendship with Christ on His terms and for His glory. God made the universe for his Son. This is the message we take to the world.
When I read this verse, I think of the classic love lines in songs and movies
Words that capture the spirit of the age and the idols of our heart. The songs remove Christ from his rightful place and that language should only and can only be applied to the Lord Christ. It’s not as if Christ created us and then left us to go on our own merry way. The one who is before all things is the Christ who is the one who holds it all together, verse 17
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (NIV)
We say of a person who is coping with a lot of pressure, He is holding it all together. Jesus literally holds the universe together. Hebrews 1:3 puts it this way:
(The Son is) ...sustaining all things by the power of his word. (NIV)
If the job of science gives natural explanations for the natural world then the bible gives the ultimate explanation for the natural and spiritual world.
Christ sustains the universe and it is He who is bringing everything to its appointed end. History is moving in one direction. That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow. Christ is supreme in this age and in the age to come. Verse 18
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. (NIV)
Christ rules in creation and He rules over his people the Church. Christ is the head of the church which is his body. There is an intimate connection between Christ and his body, the church. Jesus said ‘When you do it unto the least of my brothers you do it unto me’. The church belongs to Christ. He rules the church, it's right to say MBM is Christ’s church it's even ok to say it's our church, but it is never Ray Galea’s church. Colossians 1:18
And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead. (NIV)
The church that He rules is the one he leads into the age of the resurrection. Jesus is firstborn from the dead, He is the first of the dead ones to rise. He spearheads a new people who will also rise from the dead and God raised his Son first, as we see in the rest of verse 18.
…so that in everything he might have the supremacy. literally "so that in everything he might be first." (NIV)
He ranks supreme in this age and in the age to come. He ranks number 1 in this creation and the next. He rules over all people and God's people. The one who is firstborn of creation is firstborn from the dead so that in everything he might be first.
John the Baptist was right: Jesus must increase and I must decrease. He is first because he is God. Verse 19
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Him (NIV)
The first Christmas day not only made us happy, it first made God happy, God was pleased to become fully human. God permanently sided with us human to bring peace. For what purpose? Verse 20
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. (NIV)
To reconcile means, to bring together that which is apart, to make friends where there are enemies, to make peace where there is war, to put right that which is wrong. The Universe was made by Christ and for Christ, but every corner of the universe has been stained by sin, there is rebellion in the invisible world with Demons opposing God, there is rebellion in the visible world with humans as enemies of God. Christ came to bring peace through his blood with all things. In some way, that means God made peace with the devil. That peace is not just a peace of friendship, all holding hands, smoking weed and singing “all you need is love…” It has the idea of the pacification of the universe.
Pax Romana described 200 years of Roman peaceful rule. The peace of Rome was not "flowers in the hair" singing "we are the world", the ‘Peace of Rome’ involved the army who came to put down rebellion.
So how did God make peace with the devil? Disarming and shaming the devil at the cross and taking from him his right to accuse us of sin. The Cross is as much about suppressing the enemies, like Satan, as it is about saving sinners. At the cross the rift between God and Man and God and the universe is reversed. These are the facts, Christ is the reason that you exist, why you exist, why your sins can’t condemn you and Satan can't accuse you, why your death can't defeat you, Christ rules the world and he rules this church, He grants you the right to breathe and the right to enter heaven. At every point Christ is supreme, there is not a corner of your life and there is not a square metre on this earth where Christ cannot say ‘this is mine and I own it and it belongs to me’.
So why isn’t Jesus first in your life? What part of your life are you refusing to let Jesus be first? Perhaps you think you’ve gone too far! Well, join the rest of us. Look at what the cross bought for us Colossians 1:21-22.
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 (NIV)
We were all enemies of God, the evidence is seen in what we did and what we thought. We have been funding a war with God, for some, it's open warfare with blatant defiance, for many it’s the cold war… silence and sulking. But war it is. The peace was brokered over Christ’s physical body.
I heard of a couple who were separated and on their way to divorce. One day the husband decided to visit the grave of their dead son. As he stood there he heard someone coming from behind and coincidently it was his wife. For a moment they were going to walk away from each other but standing over the grave of their dead son, they held hands and peace came to their marriage. God has made peace with you over the body of his Son, it’s time to take the hand of God and go home knowing you’re at peace with God. What does this peace with God look like?
On Judgment day there is no shaming, no condemnation, no accusation and no rejection. You will be:
You go home with our Lord and there will be no I told you so, no more criticism and no blame. That is the power of the gospel.