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. 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. 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. (Colossians 1:18-23)
The Church is the “Body of Christ” and Jesus Christ is the “Head of the Church”. Just as the head and body are inseparable, Jesus and the Church (we) are inseparable. In his earthly life, Jesus worked with his own body, but now he wants to use the church, which is the body of Christ.
His Son Jesus Christ is the first (verse 18). Jesus is Alpha (first) and Omega (last). Coronavirus “Omicron” is the 15th of the 24 Greek letters. With 9 characters remaining, it will be the last Omega, so I hope that it will converge before it goes that far. To say that Jesus Christ is the alpha and omega means that he is the first and last of all things, the author and finisher of history.
Jesus is the first born from the dead, the first to rise again, both physically and spiritually. Until then, there were people who were resurrected, people who were revived. In the Old Testament, the prophet Elijah raised the son of the widow of Zarephath, and the prophet Elisha raised the son of the woman of Shunem. In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus raised Lazarus of Bethany, son of the widow of Nain, daughter of Jairus the synagogue. The apostle Peter also raised the female disciple Dorcas, and the apostle Paul raised the young man Eutychus. But they died again.
But the Lord Jesus was different. When Jesus was resurrected, he was raised in an immortal body. There is hope here. So are we. This body will decay. But we who believe in Jesus will also receive the same immortal body that Jesus did. Everything in this world is temporary. It will pass. Jesus said, ” What is the gain of gaining the whole world, but losing the true life? ” (Matthew 16:26). But we are given true life, resurrection life.
Jesus was the first-born (v. 15) and the first-born from the dead by resurrection (v. 18b). We have sinned, and as a result, the original “image of God” has been destroyed. But the restoration of the “image of God” was brought to mankind by the cross of Jesus. Jesus is the beginning of creation and the beginning of the new creation by resurrection. Jesus Christ is first and foremost in both the old and the new creation (v. 18c). Outwardly we are in the old creation. We have a body of sin. It’s the same as Adam. But inwardly we are in a new creation. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away, and behold, all things have become new. Through the second Adam, Jesus Christ. The relationship with God that had been broken by Adam was restored through the second Adam, Jesus Christ. Our sins are forgiven and we are given spiritual life through Jesus.
“He is the firstborn of the dead” (verse 18) means that the resurrection of Jesus is the “first thing,” the resurrection, through which we will soon be resurrected into glorious bodies. Because it is the firstfruits. Just as Jesus was the firstborn of all things and created all things, so Jesus was the firstborn of the dead, the first to rise, both in spirit and in the flesh. It has the meaning of recreating this world as a person who was born.
And from now on, we will look at our past state, our present state, and our future state.
Like Adam, we were sinners and had a broken relationship with God. Once separated from God, he became an enemy of God at heart and was in wickedness (v. 21). Adam disobeyed God, ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and began to live by his own standards rather than by God’s ideas of good and evil. He made the decision to live self-centered rather than God-centered. He has truly fallen under the control of the devil. He was going to walk against God. It’s a state of war. There is no solution without an intermediary.
Now the war between Russia and Ukraine is protracted. We pray that peace will be brought to the conflicts between nations. There are also conflicts between ethnic groups. There are many kinds of conflicts in this world. But the most serious conflict is between God and man. There is nothing more terrifying than making God our enemy. God is loving, but he is also righteous. He will surely judge sin. Because of our sins, we should have been judged by God. That’s what our past looked like.
Adam hid when he sinned. But God did not abandon Adam. ” Where are you? ” (Genesis 3:9) He searched and found, and took the skin of an animal and covered the shame of Adam and Eve, who sinned, naked and sinful. It reveals the cross of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
We had become enemies of God. But here is the “gospel of reconciliation.” Jesus became the mediator to end the state of war between God and mankind, and between God and us, and bring the peace, by the blood of Jesus on the cross(v. 20). The Gospel is the “Gospel of Peace”. “Gospel of Reconciliation”. We have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.
Not just the blood of Jesus, through the “body of the flesh” of Jesus, reconciliation has been brought to us (v. 22). By “the body of the flesh.” This is conscious of heresy. This point was denied by the heretical teachings that had infiltrated the Church of Colossae. Gnostics considered the flesh (the visible body) to be bad and unclean. Therefore, they were rejecting the incarnation of Jesus. If Jesus Christ took on a body, it would be evil, much less could it be God. But the Apostle Paul clearly declares the Bible. Reconciliation was made through the “flesh body of Jesus.” Therefore, it is important that we remember and give thanks to Jesus Christ’s shed blood and broken body every month through the Holy Communion. Because heretical teachings are still prevalent. They are trying to deceive Christians and destroy churches. It hasn’t changed since the early church. The devil is working.
Great blessings have been given to us as a result of our reconciliation with God. we all die. Even if we are cured of our illness and have the experience of being reborn, we will die someday. And after death there is judgment. It is written in Hebrews 9:27 that man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment .
But if we are reconciled with God, if the state of war is over, we can stand holy when we stand before God. In reality, we are unclean, but because we are sanctified by the blood of the cross of Jesus Christ, we can boldly appear before God as holy and without sin. And we will be able to stand proudly before God at the time of the final judgment. He was found guilty, but he was found innocent. How grateful!
It is important to hold on to the faith (v. 23a). The spirit of unbelief is at work in this world. The church of Colossae was infiltrated with heretical teachings. But Paul stood firm, remained in the faith, and continued to preach the correct gospel. There will always be fakes. This is true both in the past and now. Paul was given a mission to preach the gospel (verse 23b). We too have been given the task of preaching the gospel.
What is the gospel? “Gospel of Reconciliation”. It is the gospel in which God and people can be reconciled. In 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 says: 18 All these things are from God. God reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 For God, in Christ, reconciled the world to himself, and did not hold men accountable for their transgressions, but entrusted us with the word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore we are Christ’s ambassadors.
God has entrusted us with the Word of Reconciliation (the Gospel message of reconciliation). We are ambassadors of Christ. The mandate of reconciliation is given, telling people to accept God’s reconciliation, to have peace with God.