Our Amazing Savior!
We recently started on Sunday mornings, a new series in Paul’s epistle to the Colossians. As I have occasion, every week to prepare God’s Word, I am aware that the truths that I share are timeless and beyond description. I would like to blog over the next couple of weeks (maybe months) as a continuation of our Sunday morning sermon series on the great truths about the Lord Jesus Christ that Paul reveals in his letter to the Colossians. Paul writes in Colossians 1- “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation,” (Col.1:15 NASB). As we see from this verse there is no greater person that we can consider and contemplate than the Lord Jesus Christ.
The word “image” is the Greek word EIKON from which we get our English word icon. Think about the icons on your computer and when you press the icon button you bring up the whole website and the information you need. It is a copy or a likeness that leads us into the full topic. Jesus is the perfect image, the exact likeness, and the very form of God. Paul reinforces this truth in Philippians 2 when he writes, “who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men”, (Phil.2:6,7 NASB). Jesus Christ is the one who perfectly resembles and reveals the original. He has been in this state throughout all of eternity in the image of the Godhead. When we see Jesus through the eyes of faith, we see God exactly as He is. Nothing of God is lacking in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a rather amazing thought to contemplate. Though Jesus is not visible to our physical sight, and He cannot be discovered by reason or intellect or by the imagination of people, He reveals the living God of the universe to us.
Jesus is the exact representation and manifestation of God, and He is fully God in every sense. Paul sets forth Jesus and His unique Majesty and supreme dignity by showing His relationship to God, to the created universe, and to the church. In eternity past, before His incarnation He was the image of God as the Word, as described for us in John’s gospel when he writes, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth,” (John 1:14 NKJV). Jesus alone is the authentic mirror of God’s nature, and He reveals the invisible God to us when we see Him through the eyes of faith.
The second part of the verse states, “the firstborn over all creation”. This verse does not mean that Jesus was the firstborn of God’s creation or the first created angel, as some teach. Paul is borrowing this term from his Jewish upbringing where in the Hebrew culture the term “firstborn” was saying someone was especially honored. Furthermore, the term “firstborn” can refer to one who was born first chronologically, but most often it refers to preeminence in position or rank. In both the Greek and Jewish cultures, the firstborn was the ranking son who received the right of inheritance from his father, whether he was born first or not. Jesus was not the first created being. He is referred to many times in Scripture as the only begotten of the Father (John 3:16) and it would be impossible for Christ to be both the only begotten and the first begotten. Also, in our blog next week we will see (Lord willing) that Jesus is the creator of all things, and it would be impossible for Him to be both the creator of all things and the first created. “Firstborn” is a reference to his priority in time and space, position and power. Jesus proceeded all creation, and He is sovereign over all creation.
I think Jesus is certainly an overwhelming subject for us to consider in the coming weeks in our blog. He’s the creator and Lord of His church, but my question to you today is, “Is He the Lord of your life?” He alone is worthy of that title, and it is critical for us to stay connected to our head the Lord Jesus Christ by yielding our lives to Him. I hope that you have made that decision and are enjoying all the benefits of knowing Him, who is the express image of the living God of the universe.
Rejoicing in our Savior,
Pastor Rich Sivo