Colossians Devotional | Jesus: Reconciler and Peacemaker
Colossians: Christ Above and Before All
The Glory of God Revealed in Jesus
Jesus: Reconciler and Peacemaker
“15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And 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, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” - (Colossians 1:15-20)
Jesus reconciles all things--whether they’re in the physical universe or in the spiritual universe. He does it by living in perfect obedience to God the Father and then dying as a sacrifice. No Christian owes a debt of punishment to God for their sin. The earth and all spiritual realms won’t just be made over--they’ll be made new.
In the book of Romans, which Paul also wrote, in chapter eight, says that the entire creation is “groaning” under the weight and torture and sadness of sin. Even though the wind, the waters, and the earth don’t have souls, they are broken and heaving with pain and death because they aren’t what they were meant to be. The same goes for human beings.
Tornadoes, tsunamis, and earthquakes; malaria, cancer, and the Coronavirus; starvation, aging, lying, jealousy, deceit...they’re all evidence of a universe that was meant to be and designed to be at peace. At peace with itself and everything else. Paul gives us a grand vision of what Jesus has done, is doing, and will complete: he’s reconciling all things...the natural, spiritual, and human world...back to himself. Back to his original design. Back to what we and the created world were meant to be!
The reason Paul virtually starts his letter to the Colossians with these truths is because of what he’s going to start saying in the next few chapters: that we, as Christians, with Jesus above and before everything, are his peace-making, reconciling representatives. That we’re meant to serve as living previews and preachers of the saving and peace-making work of Jesus, who is God. We are meant to be gospel-reconcilers, taking the light of the gospel to push back what is dark in the world, in love and mercy, generosity and self-sacrifice.
This is why Christians ought to care about and strive for:
Preserving and wisley stewarding our natural resources
Standing up for racial and economic equity and reconciliation
Charity for the poor and rescuing the at-risk
Sympathizing with the alien and outsider and adopting the orphan
Serving and befriending the lonely and weak elderly
These aren’t simply political or social or ecological issues--they’re gospel issues, at the root. We, who have been and are being reconciled back to peace, are meant to be reconcilers, on behalf of Jesus, to the world around us.
What small thing--small thing--do you think you ought to do that will be one step toward reconciling the world around you? Who might you reach out to with the gospel, with prayer, with generosity, with encouragement? What broken or discarded thing do you see that you might give attention to, repairing and redeeming it?
You really don’t need permission to obey Jesus and be about his mission. You probably don’t need training to take your first obedient step today. You probably already know something you can start with, right where you’re at. Pray and commit yourself before the Lord today--then obey him in word and deed!