Who is Jesus Really Part II

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Colossians 1:16-24

*All scripture references come from the New King James Version

One of my favorite movies from the early 2000’s was called The Second Chance. The film starred Michael W. Smith and was the story of a privileged PK (Preachers Kid) who is primed to take over his fathers mega church. Smith’s character, nick named “Gucci” by the inner city pastor he is sent to serve because of his high dollar shoes, is simply going through the motions. He is a Christian in name only and the more people who are watching him as he gives $200 dollars to a homeless man or his leather jacket to a thief, the better. Our protagonist didn’t know how to serve Jesus because he didn’t understand who Jesus was. In short, He is LORD. Pastor Greg Laurie said it best:

Jesus is either Lord of all or He isn’t Lord at all

That means, ourselves, our time, and our possessions. Paul reminds the Church in Colosse and us as well that Christ is Lord in  verses 16-18

16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

The first thing to notice here is, “For by him all things were created.” By Him,” this puts Jesus Christ on the same playing field as the Father, “by Him,” (meaning Jesus) that all things were created. As my pastor is famous for reminding us, All, in the Greek, means all. Let’s take a step back to verse 15.

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

This is one of those moments when the English language is shallow and unless we look closely, the meaning of a word or passage can be truly lost in translation. The word image in the Greek is eikon. This is where we get the English word icon.  It means, “copy,” or, “likeness,”  Jesus Christ is the perfect image – the exact likeness – of God and to finish out the verse, has been so from all of eternity.

Have you ever sat back and given thought to the deity of Jesus? It is truly mind-blowing. How is it that Jesus is at once man and God. As this passage, and many others point out, Jesus is God but we know He was a man as well. As the prophecy found in Isiah 53:3 states:

He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

I won’t even say that this can be confusing because, when it is contemplated by the human mind it is. So how is it that the church in Colosse is to accept Paul’s statement here? How are we? How are we to believe that Jesus, a man who walked the earth, as also God Possessing all of the attributes listed in versus 16-18? One word, faith.

Romans 10:17 [Full Chapter]

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
For all of its complexity, it is simple really; either you believe it our you don’t. Either God has your attention or He doesn’t.  Faith, scripture tells us, is a gift from God. The above verse says that faith comes as a result of a transaction between the believer and the Father. Faith comes in two parts, hearing the word and understanding. The understanding is a result of a transaction. That is a study in and of itself that we will tackle as the Lord leads
The section finishes in verse 18 with the reason for our salvation. Jesus, both God and man is the head of the church, his church, by virtue of the fact that He is the firstborn of the dead that in all things He may have preeminence.
The next set of verses should ring true for a believer, even if  they have never actually read them. they are the gospel! Paul has told the church who Christ is (God in human flesh) and now he is telling them why it all matters – the good news, the Gospel.
 Verses 19-23

19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

 Verses 19-20 lay it out. Remember, the word all in the Greek means all. The word fullness in the Greek is  pleroma meaning full or complete. This is powerful, Jesus is completely God and man and because of that completeness the Father has made peace with all of creation through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. As Jesus said:

John 19:30 [Full Chapter]

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
 When Jesus died on the cross, the power of sin and death died with Him. Through the sacrifice of Christ, God made peace with the world – with you and me! He created a bridge between Himself and man; the man Jesus Christ. Verses 21-23 tell us that we who were lost are now found in Christ. We who are by birth imperfect, are made blameless (perfect) in the eyes of God. Don’t miss this. Nowhere here or anywhere in scripture for that matter, does it say that we can attain a right standing with the Father. There is no work, no thing we can do to make ourselves holy and blameless in His eyes.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Verses 24-29 close out the chapter. We will save that for next time. There  is so much here for us to digest, I pray that theses studies bless you and strengthen your walk. And, to those of you reading this that may be on the fence, undecided, as to the identity of Jesus Christ, I leave you with this:
John 14:6 [Full Chapter]

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Until the Whole World Hears,
LD
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