When I hear the word “luxuriate,” I generally envision a nice long bubble bath in a jacuzzi. Preferably by candlelight. Chocolate and/or cheesecake should definitely be involved. Maybe even some soft music in the background, Hey: an old lady can dream, can’t she?
But I woke up this morning knowing that I would luxuriate in my favorite passage in all of God’s Word. I’ve been working through Paul’s letter to the Colossians this summer, first by reading the entire letter every day for three weeks and then by reading a section a day while taking notes. Now I’m working through it again and checking cross-references. So I eagerly anticipated today’s passage and the Scriptures supporting it.
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. ~~Colossians 1:15-17 (ESV)
Since I hope to do a Bible Study series with you on Colossians at some point, I’ll spare you the bulk of the cross-references for now. Instead, I simply want to give you a sense of the wonder of Jesus. Of course, this little blog post can’t possibly do justice to Paul’s soaring description of Christ’s deity, but I pray that something in these verses will lead you into a deeper adoration of Him.
In this passage, Paul affirms Christ’s deity, particularly tying it in with His role as the Creator. He majors on the work of creation, certainly, but only after telling us that Christ is the image of the invisible God. He makes the astonishing pronouncement that Christ is indeed God Himself. (Earlier in the letter, he distinguishes Christ as being a separate Person from the Father).
The writer of Hebrews intensifies the idea of Christ being the image of God:
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, ~~Hebrews 1:3 (ESV)
Your son might be the spitting image of his father, and your daughter might be the spitting image of you, but they’re not exact imprints. Yet Jesus represents His Father’s nature exactly. He is nothing less than the image of the invisible God.
Paul moves on in verses 16 and 17 with an exquisite description of Christ’s extensive creation, showing His authority over all aspects of that creation. In so doing, he implicitly establishes that the Lord Jesus Christ has absolute sovereignty over His creation. And even more thrilling, everything was created through Him and for Him.
Can you see the marvelous majesty of Jesus in Paul’s words here? Every time I read it, my heart sings and dances as I glimpse the spectacular nature of my Savior. Yes, I luxuriated in this passage when I studied it this morning. I pray that you’ll luxuriate in it also. It’s so much better than a silly old bubble bath!