Okay, so maybe it is not the morning after, but maybe I should call this "The Night After" for this week. I have been busy all day helping with my son's class to the Kansas State Fair. It was a good, but long time all day today. But here is my thoughts from what I was able to teach yesterday.
Yesterday was a great day! As we progressed through the book of Colossians, we came to one of my favorite parts of the book as well as maybe the entire Bible. In Colossians 1:13-20, Paul writes in a hymn-like fashion to speak of the greatness of Jesus Christ. At the beginning of this study, I said that the overarching theme of this book is Jesus and that our goal is to live life with Jesus at the center of our lives. If Jesus is to be central, this passage is the central passage.
I say that because at the center of this passage we find vs. 18 which says that "He Himself will come to have first place in everything." That is the goal of all of life, to have Jesus first in all things. In my money, in my hobbies, in my marriage, in my home, in my parenting, in my Christianity, and so on.
But before Paul makes that point, he says many things concerning who Jesus is and what He has done. In fact, the heart of Jesus-Centeredness is found in his person and work. I have always seen this passage as an onion that is peeled back and only when we understand the outside of the onion can we understand the inside of it. The inside is of course, vs. 18, that Jesus would take first place. But before that, we are told of His saving work (vs. 13-14, 20). We are told of His personhood (vs. 15a, 19). We are told of His creating works (vs. 15b-18). It is only when those things are peeled back that we can get to the heart of the end of vs. 18.
This week, I talked about the saving work of Jesus and His personhood. Here are a few things that I learned.
First, Jesus is a great savior! We are told that in Him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. I was thinking last week why we always talk about sins. There are some who have gone away from talking about sin and the evil that corrupts the human heart. But as I thought about that, I came to the realization that if our sin is not that bad, then our redeemer is not that great. But because our sin is horrible, we can come to realize that our savior is amazing!
Second, Jesus shows me the invisible! The redemption of our sins cost greatly . . . it cost Jesus His life. It cost Him becoming man. But that was essential, because if Jesus did not come, we would not know God like we do. We are told that He is the image of the invisible God. God can't be seen, but Jesus was seen. But it doesn't mean that if God had a body, He would have looked like what Jesus looked like. But the point internal realities. His compassion, His righteousness, His perfection, His mercy--these are what we are told about God, but see in Jesus.
I look forward to next week as we get to deal with the rest of the passage. But for now, I am going to bask in the greatness of Jesus Christ and what He did FOR ME! If you were there or you listened to it? What struck you? What did you learn? How are you rejoicing in Jesus today (or tonight)?