Today’s Scripture Focus: Colossians 1:15-29
One of last year’s popular TV series was “Cosmos”, a remake of the late Carl Sagan’s original from 1980. This series attempted to explore many of the universe’s greatest mysteries from a scientific perspective—from the infinitesimally small workings of particles inside the atom, to the unimaginable vastness of the known universe, to the incomprehensible theories of the “multiverse”. Though informative and beautifully produced, the average viewer probably had as many questions at the conclusion of the series as at the beginning. Some things in creation are just so mysterious that they will probably never be fully understood.
Yet, there is One who is supremely above all. Today’s scripture focus begins with another “Christ hymn”. Verses 15-20 most likely make up another song that would have been used in worship. This one speaks of Christ as firstborn and head of all things. To be “firstborn” in the biblical world meant to fully represent and ultimately rule your family. In Christ we have the full representation of what we cannot see or know—God, the Father. Christ is the firstborn of all creation. One of the troubling doctrines in Colossae was angel worship—the idea that Christ was just another of God’s angels. This hymn clearly states that Christ is above ALL powers.
Christ is not only the firstborn of the invisible, but the visible. He is the firstborn of those risen from the dead, and the head of Church—all those who have been reconciled to God. Reconciliation, like last weeks redemption, is another aspect of salvation. In Paul’s world, reconciliation involved two parties, once at war with each other, establishing peace through a mediator. Christ is the mediator between God and us. Though humanity became hostile towards God, rejecting God’s friendship since the Fall, we can now be a friend of God because of the cross of Christ. However, to remain reconciled to God we must remain in Christ through faith.
Remember this letter is written from the perspective of one in prison, suffering for his faith in Christ. For the author, this suffering leads to rejoicing, because he believes it is all part of God’s ultimate plan. This “mystery” began with Christ the firstborn; a firstborn, however, implies little brothers and sisters. God’s great mystery, now revealed in Christ and continued through Paul, was that reconciliation was available not just for a select tribe of people, but for ALL of creation, including the gentiles. Just like there are some things about the universe that are beyond our understanding, some aspects of God’s salvation plan will remain mysteries until we get to Heaven. But, in Christ, we can KNOW we are saved!
- Go around the table and share prayer requests. Have someone lead in prayer.
- Let everyone who would like to share anything exciting from their week.
- Ask these three questions. Let as many answer each one as they would like.
According to Colossians 1:15-20, what are all the things Christ is and does?
If you could ask God anything about the world and how it works, what would it be? If you could ask God anything about the Bible, salvation, or Heaven, what would it be?
Do you KNOW today that you are at peace with God? As a class, pray for this assurance, thanking God for making it available through Christ.