The supremacy, the pre-eminence, the lordship of Christ!
Colossians 1:15-23 (NIV)
On Christmas Day, let us remember just who this wonderful Child in the manger really is, and why he came.
The Supremacy of the Son of God
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 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 and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.
This is such a magnificent passage I am giving it to you again, this time in the J. B. Phillips translation:
Now Christ is the visible expression of the invisible God. He existed before creation began, for it was through him that every thing was made, whether spiritual or material, seen or unseen. Through him, and for him, also, were created power and dominion, ownership and authority. In fact, every single thing was created through, and for him. He is both the first principle and the upholding principle of the whole scheme of creation.
And now he is the head of the body which is composed of all Christian people. Life from nothing began through him, and life from the dead began through him, and he is, therefore, justly called the Lord of all. It was in him that the full nature of God chose to live, and through him God planned to reconcile in his own person, as it were, everything on earth and everything in Heaven by virtue of the sacrifice of the cross.
And you yourselves, who were strangers to God, and, in fact, through the evil things you had done, his spiritual enemies, he has now reconciled through the death of his body on the cross, so that he might welcome you to his presence clean and pure, without blame or reproach. This reconciliation assumes, of course, that you maintain a firm position in the faith, and do not allow yourselves to be shifted away from the hope of the Gospel.
Though Christ a thousand times
In Bethlehem be born,
If He’s not born in thee
Thy soul is still forlorn.
The Cross on Golgotha
Will never save thy soul;
The Cross in thine own heart
Alone can make thee whole.
Oh, Cross of Christ, I take thee
Into this heart of mine,
That I to my own self may die
And rise to Thy life divine.
Jesus is the image of the invisible God — He is the head of the church — He is the one who saves us from our sins — He is the one we praise and thank and honor and glorify! One of my favorite Christmas carols is the traditional version of “What Child Is This,” which speaks to both the manger and the cross. HERE it is.
New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica