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. 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.
– Colossians 1:15-20 (ESV)
Paul continues here his letter to the Colossians, comprised of more compact, powerful truth than would seem possible in just a few short verses. Here he affirms the deity of Christ in no uncertain terms. Jesus is “the image of the invisible God”. By Jesus all things were created, both of the physical world we see and the unseens spiritual world that swirls all around us and is, I believe, far more solid than what we call reality. Jesus is the beginning, both the creator and the “firstborn of all creation”, meaning not that he himself was created (how could he be? He is the Creator), but that in his incarnation he is the firstborn of a new kind of creation: the creation of redeemed sons and daughters of God in the Kingdom of God. If you know him you are not just his child but also his brother or sister.
And in him “all things hold together”. This vast and elegant universe in its unimaginable complexity, the very cells of your body, our world, the seas, the lands, molecules, everything holds together in him. He is the Logos, the Word spoken by the Father that created and maintains all things and for which all things were made. “In him we live and move and have our being . . .”.
In this humble carpenter from Nazareth God incarnated himself into this world. and in him all the fullness of God dwells, though it was veiled while he walked with us. The world sees this as foolishness, but in Jesus we have our King, the head of his church, and the very One who through his own sacrifice rescued us from death and has reconciled us (and, indeed, all things) to God.
I don’t even know what all that means, fully. I just know the peace of the cross, and the joy of redemption, and the wonder of my King, who allowed himself to be humbled beyond words so that you and I could be redeemed beyond all understanding.