He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 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.
— Colossians 1:15–16
I love this declaration from Paul. If you want to know what God is like, just look to Jesus. He is the image of the invisible God!
I want to focus on the end of this text, where Paul declares that all things were created through Jesus and for Jesus. This truth should change the way we see ourselves, but also how we see the things God has given us by his grace. Sometimes we tend to overcomplicate things, but in this case, I think it’s as simple as this: it is because of Christ and his power and grace that we have anything that we have, and therefore, it is to Christ that we owe everything, including our entire lives.
Now, I could probably just drop the mic and end this devotional right there, but I think it’s helpful to keep going, primarily because it’s the final part of that last sentence that is the hardest for me.
This next thing I want to tease out is a little off topic, but I think I can bring it back around, so hang with me. Have you ever wondered why the Jews in the first century wanted to kill Jesus? I mean, seriously, think about it. He was going around, feeding everybody, healing the sick, casting out demons, telling dead people to stop it and exercising authority over sickness and emotional and spiritual brokenness. Why would they want to get rid of that guy? The problems that people had with Jesus flared up whenever Jesus’ deity would show. Jesus is saying in the gospels, “This is the path to life, and you aren’t on it. I need you back over here,” and the first-century Jews (and by the way, us too, if we are honest) are saying, “No, no, no, I know the path to life! The path to life is what I want and when I want it and how I want it.” I know the best way to handle my finances. I know the best way to navigate my marriage. I know the best way to raise my children.
How many times have we thought we knew the way to life? I don’t know about you, but whenever I feel like I know the best way to live my life, it usually leads to destruction, heartache, and disappointment. That’s primarily because I really don’t know the best way to live my life apart from Christ!
So, we don’t want to spend a lot of time thinking about Jesus as God because if Jesus is God, then all his teachings about life being found in him are true, and that collides with my own thoughts of, “I know what I want. I know what my life should look like. I know what’s best for me.” When Jesus’ authority slams into that, we realize what we actually believe and what we actually love. What we do in this collision is important.
C.S. Lewis can help me summarize what I am trying to say:
“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
If Jesus is God, and all things were created through him and for him, then that is infinitely important. And if he is not, then none of this is important. But the only thing he cannot be is something we tack on to our lives a few weekends a month, give him an hour of our time, and move on. He cannot be that.
So, if what Jesus says about himself is true, that he is the Son of God, and that life and ultimate gladness are found in him alone, we can trust him with our entire lives. We can rest assured in the cross of Christ that Jesus is worthy of all that we have to give. He is faithful to use us and all that we give in incredible ways when we freely give it all over to the only one who is worthy.