Colossians 1:13 For he (God the Father) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (NIV)
If we know nothing else about Jesus, these two verses tell us who Jesus is. He is the Son that God loves. Through Him God rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His Son.
Jesus is king. He is not just a king. He is The King! Elsewhere we are told He is King of kings. He is Lord of lords. There is none higher than this King. He sits at the right hand of God the Father.
That may not mean much to us in our society. We do not really understand what it means to sit at the right hand of the king. We live in a society where all men are created equal. At least, that is the ideal we seek to uphold as a nation.
If you lived under a king or an emperor, you might understand what sitting at his right hand means. One who sits at the right hand of the king has all the power of that king. He has the full authority of the king. What he says is as if the king himself had spoken.
Jesus has all the authority of God the Father. We speak of God the Father and God the Son as being One. You can add the Holy Spirit into that mix as well. The Three are One. They are the Godhead. The doctrine of the trinity is that these three are equal.
Jesus is the one who rescued us from the dominion of darkness. When we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord we are rescued from the darkness. Spiritual understanding comes from God. Apart from Him you are walking in darkness. Without Him, there is no light, no understanding of what it means to have a relationship with God. When we were rescued from the domain of darkness we were redeemed. We were purchased from the domain of darkness. We were forgiven for our rebellion, for our refusal to trust and love God, for our sinfulness.
This is who Jesus is. He is the expression of God’s love for us. He gives us a picture of who the Father is. Read on:
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (NIV)
When we see Jesus, we see God. He is the image of the invisible God. If you have not seen Jesus, you have not seen the best image of God. If you have not accepted Jesus as you Lord and Savior, you have not yet understood who God is. (Slide 6) No one can truly see God without seeing Jesus.
16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (NIV)
Who is Jesus? He is one with the Creator of all things. By Him and for Him all things were created. Nothing in existence came into being apart from Him. All things that exist have their purpose in Him. He was one with God before anything was created. Everything continues to exist because He holds it together. If He did not hold it all together, everything that exists would cease to exist.
This includes things in heaven and on earth, things we can see and things we cannot see. He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last. He is God. He is Creator and Sustainer.
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)
He is the supreme head of the body, those called out of darkness into the light of truth.
Head of the body? What does that mean? I would have to say it refers to the truth that Jesus is Lord. We get our direction, our purpose, our meaning from Him. As the head directs the working of our physical bodies, Jesus directs the church. He tells all the different parts what to do and when to do it.
Just a side note: Is this what all societies think? Would a primitive, non-scientific society see the head as the control center of the body? Do we have this understanding of the head being the part of us that gives direction to the rest of the body because of our knowledge of the brain and its function? Sorry, this is just one of my own quirks.
Here is one I do not fully understand: He is the firstborn from among the dead. I think I have a pretty good idea of what Paul meant, but, technically, Jesus was not the first person to be raised from the dead. Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead before Jesus came back from the grave.
Jesus is, however, the firstborn of God. He is the firstborn in the sense that He is the most important child of God. He leads the way in our living out our new life. God loves Him. One might ask, “Isn’t that just God loving Himself?”
Well, what if it is? Loving ourselves is a good thing, as long as we keep loving God and others before ourselves. God loving Himself is the basis for loving His creation.
We must have a certain amount of respect and love for ourselves in order to love God and one another. We must not despise ourselves. God made us and He wants what is best for us. We need to remember that God did not make junk when He created us.
Jesus is the firstborn. I may not fully comprehend what this means, but one day I will.
The next sentence may shed some light on what Jesus as the firstborn means:
19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 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)
All the fullness of God dwells in Jesus. Through Him God reconciles to Himself all things by making peace through His blood shed on the cross.
Had you ever noticed that all things were reconciled to God through the death of Jesus? All things, on earth and in heaven. What in heaven needed to be reconciled to God?
I have many questions about what I read in the Bible. There are many things I do not understand. I trust that one day it will all be made clear to me. However, even if He does not answer all my questions I will choose to trust Him.
I needed to be reconciled to God if no one else ever did. God reconciles me to Himself by what He did through His Son on the cross. Once I was alienated from God. Read on…
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 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 – 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (NIV)
This is the gospel… Reconciliation with God is made possible by the death of Christ’s physical body. All we have to do is continue in our faith and refuse to move from the hope that is promised in the message from God. We are no longer alienated from God. We are no longer his enemies because of our evil behavior. Are you holding on to faith in God? Are you making the choice to trust Him?
In what sense has this gospel message been proclaimed to every creature under heaven?
You see, I do not have all the answers. I am trusting God in spite of my many questions. I believe He loved me so much that He refuses to give up on me and continues to offer the free gift of salvation to my unworthy soul.
Is it possible that God, through His Holy Spirit has, or will offer this good news to everyone who lives, who ever lived, or ever will live? Is it possible, that even though not all have listened to this message, all have been told of the love and mercy of God?
Whether or not this is true, or in what sense it is true, you have heard the good news. Have you accepted it? Are you trusting Him to save you? Are you believing what you have been told?
Do you believe what you have been told about this good news of God’s love?
God and His Son, and His Holy Spirit, are holding out to you an offer of salvation, forgiveness for your sin, life where all you deserve is death. God is offering to allow you to live in a relationship with Him. Are you walking in that relationship today? Are you trusting Him?
Who is Jesus? He is the God who saves. He is the God who loves us. Please trust Him today.