Sam Ward unpacks Colossians 1 and asks what the risen Christ is doing in our lives today.
After Easter each year I feel like the Bible gets a bit of a recharge. We get to revisit all the passages of scripture again that talk about what Jesus – the risen Christ – is doing now.
One of the passages that never fails to wake me up in the morning is Colossians 1:15-20. What beautiful words about the long we serve. It speaks of Jesus as supreme, before all things and holding all things together. It reminds us that he is reconciling all things through the power of the cross. And it offers us a remarkable picture of how Jesus relates to his Father.
In Genesis 1:27 we read that humanity is made ‘in the image of God.’ But I think the fall and our sin keep blurring the edges. If you squint, we might look a bit God-shaped, a rough shadow of what God might look like. We are by no means God’s image – not yet, anyway.
But in Jesus we find someone who is ‘the image of the invisible God’. He is the perfect high-definition, mirror image of the Father – a perfect representation. The word Paul uses in precise and exacting. If we look to Jesus, we see his Father.
We’re also able to encounter Jesus through what the Bible tells us about God. The list is endless – but we know he is faithful, kind, loving, wise, holy, just, merciful, gracious, creative, generous, true, strong, peaceful, righteous, patient, a rescuer, full of blessing and full of joy.
It doesn’t stop there, though. Romans 8L29 tells us that God intends to make is into his likeness. ‘For those who he foreknew, he predestined to be conformed to the image of his son’. That’s right – our purpose is to be transformed into that perfect, high-definition, mirror image of Christ. Our destiny is to be changed from being a shadow to mirror.
Often we can get consumed with worry about God’s purpose for our lives. We ask, ‘God, if only you’d tell me what your purpose for my life is.’ I think it’s very simple – it’s into be changed by his likeness.
Christ is at work in you today, making you like him
It means that Christ is at work in you today, making you like him. He’s changing you to be faithful, kind, loving, wise, holy, just, merciful, gracious, creative, generous, true, strong, peaceful, righteous, patient, a rescuer, full of blessing and full of joy.
Do you know a greater peace than that?
In this way, Jesus and the Father are glorified. Jesus glorifies his Father when he looked like him and made him known. In the same way, we glorify Jesus when look like him. It’s all for the glory of God, and it’s for the sake of the world.
We are make like Christ that we might make him known for the sake of the world – the lost and the hurting. It’s like the late great Billy Graham once said, ‘God gave you two hands: one to receive and one to give’.
So what is the risen Christ up to today? He’s at work in you.