Jesus is the first born of all creation (See Col. 1:15). He is the head of the church, and He is the beginning, the firstborn of the dead, so that He might have first place in everything (See Col. 1:18).
But just what does all of that mean? I mean, why does Paul go to such great lengths to expound on Christ’s rightful position as “first”? Could it be because human nature is such that we tend to not allow Christ in the #1 position in our lives? That we tend to occupy that position ourselves?
I don’t know about you, but I certainly live most of my life as if the big “me” were #1, rather than Christ! It makes sense, though. If Christ has truly earned that #1 position, shouldn’t I make Him #1 as well?
I suppose that I could end this devotional right here, for that is the big point to be made. However, a closer look at the verses describing Jesus as #1 will serve to cement this in our hearts and spirits, enough to make us desire to give Him the #1 spot in our hearts. Let’s take a look at Colossians 1:15-22:
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciledin his fleshly bodythrough death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him…” (NRSV)
Notice a few key phrases here: “He is the image of the invisible God…” — Why would this be important? Because no one has ever seen God, nor could we stand to see Him face to face: “No one has ever seen God…” (John 1:18a NRSV). The verse goes on to say, “…it is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.” (John 1:18b NRSV). Thus, even though we don’t have even the vaguest concept of what God is like, the fact that Jesus is our image of God means that when we study Jesus, His character, His heart of love, His mercy and His grace, what we are really seeing is a reflection of God Himself! The fact that Jesus is #1 means that we have a reference for who God is! And if this isn’t already spelled out clearly, Paul goes on in his letter to the church of Colossia to make sure we understand this concept: “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell…” (vs. 19). Jesus is the image of God, and God dwells in Him!
“…the firstborn of all creation…” — If you wonder what this means and how it is significant to us today, you need look no further than the next line of the text: “…for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him…” Thus, the fact that Jesus is the firstborn of all creation means that He is rightfully positioned to create! He is the agent by which the creator God brought all things into being!
I find the next little tag in vs. 16 very interesting: “…all things have been created through him and for him.” (Vs 16b). So not only was Jesus the agent God used to create everything, but God’s purpose was for that creation to happen … for Jesus!
The verse goes on to state that Jesus is, “…before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (vs. 17). The creation cannot be greater than the creator, and it is only in Jesus that everything comes together!
Paul then reminds us that Jesus is, “…the head of the body, the church.” (Vs. 18a). This is in keeping with many other passages of Scripture: Psalms 118:22, Ephesians 1:22, Ephesians 5:23 etc.
We are then told, “…he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.” (Vs. 18b) In case it wasn’t clear before His death that He was the first in everything, Jesus sealed this position for Himself in coming to this earth and living a perfect life, then dying on the cross, all to reconcile us with the Father.
Because Jesus gave of Himself so sacrificially, “…through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.” (Vs. 20). Notice that God was pleased to reconcile Himself to all things! This was the best news since the fall of mankind! We chose sin, thus seperating ourselves from God, but Jesus bridged the scasm that lay between us!
“…so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him…” (Vs. 22). Wait. Did you get that? If not, read it again: God was pleased to reconcile Himself, so as to present you holy and blameless! So as to present you irreproachable before Him!
Jesus truly is #1. It was always intended that He be #1, and creation, that happened through Him, was also meant to be for Him! But it wasn’t just a gift for Jesus to be #1. He earned the right at the cross! And He did it to reconcile us to God! Therefore it is also His right to be #1!
Why, then, do we boot Him out of His rightful position? Why do we insist on being the boss? He was created to be the boss, He earned that right, and the fact that He rules in love helps us to know that He will never abuse that position in our lives!
And with all of this in mind, I can’t help but make this my prayer: Dear God, we want YOU to take Your rightful place as #1 in our lives! Please, Lord, help us to desire for You to be #1. Help us to be aware of the times we take over, to repent of those times, and to humbly give You that top spot that is Yours by right, but also Yours because You earned it! Lord, don’t let us stop You from being #1!
I pray you prayed this prayer with me from the heart as well!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Moderator, Associate Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries