Colossians 1:20 (NKJV) - Colossians 1:20 NKJV - and by Him to reconcile… |  Biblia


“Consider Christ,” the song said. Three times, once each verse, we were told to consider him. But what do we find when we follow that advice? When we look at him, what do we see? When we think about the events of that first Good Friday so long ago, what do we learn about who he is and about what he came to do? And when we look at him, what do we learn about ourselves? About who we are and who we can and should be? What relevance do those events, the things he did, the things that others did to him, what relevance do they have for us? How does it change our lives, when we consider him?


Colossians chapter 1 gives us some good ideas. For in verses 13 to 23 we learn firstly that when we consider Christ, when we look at him, we see the face of our creator. Verse 15 says,


He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created. All things were created by him and for him.


God is invisible. He is pure spirit, the vital force that fills the universe, that connects all things, that gives us life. No one has ever seen him or can see him. He is hidden from our sight. Except in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ makes visible what would otherwise remain invisible. 


For he is the image of God. And not just of one of the many so-called gods that controls the weather or controls the sea, or moves the sun through the sky. These gods have images of stone or wood or silver or gold or of paint on a canvas. But Jesus Christ is the image of the true and living God, the God who made all things, the God who rules as king over all, the God whose image comes to us in flesh and blood.


Jesus Christ is our Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” When we hear his words, when we hear of his deeds, the heart of God is exposed for us to see. “Be still,” he says to the sea and storm. “Be clean,” he says to the man with leprosy. “Get up and walk,” he says to the lame. “Your daughter will live,” he says to the royal official. “Lazarus, come out,” he cries  out to the dead. And his will is done. No power can threaten him. No authority can revoke his decisions. No other ruler can frustrate or obstruct his purposes. In all creation he is the first, the number one, the one who has the first and last word. 


For he is before all things and in him all things hold together.


So when we consider Christ, when we look at him, we see the face of the creator whom we have offended. Every thing we have, every moment of life we enjoy, is a gift from him. But we have misused his gift. We have rebelled against his will. The sea and the storm obey him, but we do not. We have fallen short of the purpose for which we were created. And we have bitten the hand that feeds us. Jesus Christ, the visible image of our invisible Creator, lived among us, doing his best, but the men of his day did their worst, and nailed him to the cross. We are enemies of our creator and we have become hostile to his love. His gift of life and love and fellowship has been torn in two.


But we learn secondly that when we consider Christ, when we look at him, we see the face of our Saviour. For 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.


In all creation Jesus Christ was the first. But he wasn’t some kind of manager who sends others to do his work, a general who sits safe in his tent twenty miles behind the front where his soldiers are dying. No Jesus Christ was the first, and he was the first into danger. Like the general who leads the charge into battle. Like the lifesaver who dives into the dangerous surf. Like the firefighter who cuts down the door and charges in to rescue others.


For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.


Friendships are as fragile as they are beautiful and rewarding. When modern life tends to separate us and isolate us in our offices and in our own affairs, it is still friendship that binds us together. But one cross word, or one thoughtless action, one simple forgotten phone call or misinterpreted word, and a friendship can be torn apart. And the pain of that lost love can drive a wedge between us. Ex husbands and wives who can’t speak without arguing. Old friends that go through the pretence of swapping Christmas cards, but who can’t stand the sight of each other. Brothers and sisters that can only communicate through their solicitors.


When friendships end it is hard to confront the key issue that caused the relationship to break down. It is easy to keep the peace. It is easy to skirt the issue. It is easy to maintain a kind of truce which is not much different from an undeclared war. But very few people have the courage to make peace, to confront the issue, to remove the obstacle, to restore the friendship to its former intimacy.


And yet this is what Christ did. We were made to know and love and serve our creator. But our sin came between us and that friendship came to an end. Every superstition, every kind of religious mumbo-jumbo is designed to try to keep the peace between us and God, as if it is God who must change his mind about us. But they fail because they only skirt the issue. Only God in Jesus Christ has the right, the power and will to make peace, to confront the issue that stands between us and him which is our sin that rebels against him and provokes his judgment.


And so Jesus, our Creator, became our Saviour, when he not only took our flesh and blood, but took our sin and destroyed it in his flesh and blood in his death on the cross. Just as he gave sight to the blind and life to the dead, so he also mends the tear in our fellowship with God and restores the relationship that we were created to have with him.


What we experience in Christ by his blood shed on the cross is peace. Reconciliation. The restoration of our friendship with God. As the hymn says,

My sin, O the bliss

of this glorious thought,

my sin, not in part, but the whole,

is nailed to the cross

and I bear it no more,

praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul.

Consider Christ. Look at him upon his cross and see not a failed Messiah, but your Creator, your Maker, your Saviour and your Friend. His life for yours. His obedience for your rebellion. His righteousness for your sin to bring you peace. Consider him and see yourselves forgiven and set free from all that tries to drag you down, so that you may know and love and serve the true and living God. He made peace with us so that we might not only know peace, but that we might become peace makers in his name.