Colossians Devotional | Jesus: The Face of God's Glory
Colossians: Christ Above and Before All
The Glory of God Revealed in Jesus
Jesus: The Face of God’s Glory
“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)
Our church just finished preaching and studying through the book of Exodus and I think the above passage has an amazing tie-in to Exodus, chapter 32.
On Mount Sinai, Moses meets with the Lord and asks him to “show me your glory.” God says (basically), “That’s a good ask. But, I’m sorry. I can’t show you my face. I’ll hide you in a little rocky alleyway and I’ll pass before you so you can see my goodness. Best I can do. Otherwise, my glory--my face--would destroy you.”
I want you to notice that what Moses asks for is to see God’s glory and God says, “You can’t see my face.” In some way, God’s glory is the same as looking upon his face--and sinful, broken man can’t stand in the presence of unmitigated, righteous, and holy glory. That is...until God sends his Son, Jesus, into the world.
Paul says that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God.” Humanity got to meet Jesus, who is God, face to face. Mary, Joseph, Peter, James, John, and countless others got to meet Jesus...face to face. It’s in Jesus that the face of God, not just in goodness, but in glory is revealed. And because it was God’s plan for Jesus to die in our place, for our sins, we aren’t destroyed in the presence of his glory. We’re saved by it.
Jesus has reconciled sinful enemies of God back to himself, “making peace by the blood of his cross.” Friends, by God’s grace, we have so many more blessings from God than even Abraham and Moses did. We have the Son of God revealed. We have his cross and atonement for us realized. We have his completed scriptures, his church, and his own Spirit, residing with us.
Though we do not see him now, face to face, we will. The Apostle Peter, who became a mentor and good friend to Paul, says in 1 Peter 1:8: “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy…” The Christian who, by grace alone through faith alone, believes in the glory of this Jesus will never be destroyed by God’s glory, but will receive inexpressible and glorious joy.
This is the gospel! The is the part of the Good News, telling us the truth about who Jesus is! As you pray today, I want you to reflect on and search for joy in the fact that God is with you and you’re getting more and more of his glory--through the face of his Son.
I want you to meditate on this fact today: Jesus ended the war between you and God. If you are a believing Christian, then God’s approval lands on you in peace! By the blood of Jesus’ cross, you are accepted and beloved by God--the Father himself looks at you with the same sort of love and happiness as when he looks upon the face of his perfect Son.