Image of the Invisible God

Who is Jesus? Colossians 1:15-20 reveals the grand mystery. Jesus is Supreme in all things. He is the Son of God, a relationship that bears mystery – yes. He is the image of the invisible God. By faith we come to understand Jesus as God incarnate. There is fullness – the expression of God in all fullness. While there is mystery, there is also revelation.

Lots of “alls” can be found in the book of Colossians. Jesus is Supreme over all things – Creation, heaven, earth, visible, invisible, thrones, dominions, rulers, authorities, the Church. As we dig into the mystery, the apostle Paul helps us to clarity various relationships – Jesus to His Father, Jesus to the Church, Jesus to eternal life, Jesus to redemption.

Colossians 1:21-23 (ESV) says, “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, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.”

These verses highlight the great pivot point of the Gospel. This pivot is where we recognize the depth of our alienation and hostility to God, and then respond in faith to our Savior. As a former math teacher, I love the world of opposites, negatives, positives, what’s in a set and what’s not, what’s above and what’s below a graphed function – these are the 180-degree turns that the Gospel reminds me of visually. For believers, there is the constant reminder in scripture of the “before and after” and the “once you were…” And then comes the great pivot in the Gospel – “But…”

But now… But God raised Him from the dead (Acts 2:24)…But God demonstrates His own love (Romans 5:8)…But God has put the body together (I Cor. 12:24)…But God in His grace gave it to Abraham through the promise (Galatians 2:27)…But God had mercy on him (Philippians 2:27)… All these represent a 180-degree, complete turnaround from being alienated, hostile, and evil to being holy, blameless, and above reproach in Jesus Christ. A total status change. A “180.”

The hinge, of course, is faith. Stable, steadfast, firm, not shifting – Faith. Faith in Him Who is Supreme in all things.

As you contemplate the “180,” this might be your prayer (taken from Valley of Vision, “The Spirit of Jesus”):

Because of Who Jesus is, “…May His comforts cheer me in my sorrows, His strength sustain me in my trials, His blessings revive me in my weariness, His presence render me a fruitful tree of holiness, His might establish me in peace and joy, His incitements make me ceaseless in prayer, His animation kindle in me undying devotion.”

By faith, I can understand the mystery of who Jesus is and can trust that His Supremacy covers all the “alls” in my life. After all, He is the image of the invisible God.

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