Preeminent in His Work!
In our recent blogs, we have been considering the preeminence of the Lord Jesus Christ from Colossians 1. We have seen that Jesus is preeminent in reflecting the image of God, He is preeminent in His authority and dominion, He is preeminent in His headship over the church, and then last time we saw that He is preeminent in pleasing His heavenly Father. Today we want to consider that Jesus Christ is preeminent in His work. We read beginning in verse 19, “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 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”, (Col. 1:19-20 NKJV). The word “reconcile” was a very common word in the first century. It means to “change” or “to exchange” something for something different. The New Testament refers to this change as it relates to the sinner’s relationship to the heavenly Father. We needed to be reconciled to God and God took the initiative. This is one of the fundamental differences between Christianity and all other religions. All other religions require that people should make an effort to appease or satisfy God, while Christianity teaches that God has initiated the offer in the person and work of his Son. Jesus never abandoned His work until He arrived in God’s presence without spot or blemish or any such thing, to reconcile us through His shed blood to our heavenly Father.
In verse 20 the word “reconcile” is used in an intensified form as it speaks of the total and complete reconciling of believers and ultimately all things in the created universe. This reconciliation refers to a total and complete reconciliation of the believer and has a universal appeal and dimension. Paul is not teaching universalism here, as some suggest, but rather Paul’s teaching that ultimately the whole created universe will submit to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus solved the sin problem, but His sacrifice is only applicable to those who accept what He’s done on their behalf on the cross. This reconciliation speaks of bringing hostile parties into an interaction and to resolve the conflict. Jesus made peace with God on our behalf through His shed blood. By His death on Calvary’s cross, Jesus bound together a holy God and sinful humanity. The fullness of the Godhead resides in Christ and that makes Him equal to the task. Jesus gave His life knowing that He was going to die, and He shed His blood for our sins. Now anyone who puts their faith and trust in Jesus Christ is heaven bound. Jesus’ atoning work has effects far beyond anything we can imagine.
There is one more important thing that I must say about this ministry of reconciliation that Jesus has fulfilled. Paul tells us very bluntly that you and I are to be agents in spreading this message of reconciliation. We read, “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him,” 2 Cor. 5:18,20,21 NKJV). This “ministry of reconciliation” has been entrusted to all those who have genuinely been born again by God’s Spirit. It is God’s will and desire that sinners be reconciled to Himself, and He calls you and I to be part of that plan. We should be seeking means and ways to engage our world with the amazing gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. An ambassador serves the King who has sent them, and we should be representing our heavenly King with the good news of God’s desire to be reconciled to humanity. God calls believers to be agents in the proclamation of this message of reconciliation to our lost world. A constant challenge for me personally is to look for meaningful avenues to engage our broken world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul implores his readers to be reconciled to God. How are we imploring or encouraging the watching world to be reconciled to God? Let’s be sure that we are continuing to serve the Lord Jesus as His ambassador, wherever He has placed us to serve Him.
Your Fellow Ambassador in Christ,
Pastor Rich Sivo