13 For he 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.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 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. 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.
This is one of the most powerful affirmations in the New Testament about who Jesus really is. Powerful words and images abound. Our salvation is framed as rescue (13), redemption (14), and reconciliation (20). Jesus as described as “the image of the invisible God” (15a), “the firstborn over all creation” (15b), the true Creator (16), the One who has “the supremacy (18), and the One in whom God’s fullness dwells.
Last week I did most of the talking, this week’s it’s your turn. So let’s start with a few questions.
When you think about when you became a follower of Jesus, which of the words (rescue, redemption, reconciliation) speaks most powerfully to you? Why?
How does it make you feel to remember that the One who died for you is described the way Paul describes Jesus here? Does it make you feel more or less secure in your salvation?
And on a more intellectual level, what do you think Paul means when he says Jesus reconciled all things to himself, “whether things on earth or things in heaven”?