Day 38

The Centrality of Christ

from the Lent 2016 reading plan

Colossians 1:15-20, Hebrews 1:3, Revelation 21:1-7

This is part of a 10-day series on the person of Christ in the 2016 Lent study.

Image is a powerful thing.

You and I live in a unique time in history—the digital media age—where much of our communication is free, immediate, and global. We can pretty much say whatever we want, to whomever we want, whenever we want. And with the power of social media, we have a tremendous amount of control over the image we portray of ourselves.

Not long ago, a group of models and actresses began posting pictures of themselves without makeup, as a protest against the impossible standards of physical beauty their industries demanded of them. Their point was that without Photoshop, makeup, and lighting, they looked just like the rest of us.

Our beauty should be found in what we really are—not some doctored-up, false image. Our images should reveal our true selves.

Today’s Scripture passage talks about the true image of Christ. The focus, however, is not on His physical appearance, but on His divine essence. When Paul says that Jesus Christ is the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15) and the “exact imprint of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3), he is making the profoundly startling claim that Jesus Christ is God.

It’s a claim not everyone accepts. The religious leaders of Jesus’ time cried blasphemy at such claims (John 10:31-39), so it’s not surprising that blasphemy became the central charge levied against Jesus leading to His crucifixion (Luke 22:66-71). The problem is that the religious leaders were both right and wrong about Jesus. They were right in concluding that when Jesus said, “before Abraham was I am” (John 8:58), He was claiming to be God. But they were wrong when they judged His claim to be false.

What the Bible teaches—and what the church has upheld throughout history—is that God and man can only be reconciled through a man who is God. Only someone who could perfectly represent both the image of God and the image of man could forge the peace that is needed between the two.

Jesus demonstrated the perfect holiness of God as God.
He also represented the perfect righteousness required of man as a man.

Jesus both offered and became the perfect sacrifice for the world’s sin as the God-man, making Him the only One who could accomplish the perfect reconciliation of all things.

All of Jesus’s “I AM” statements come together to give the world the image of who He truly is—the Son of God and the Savior of sinners. “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:19-20).

Thanks be to God.

written By Nate Shurden 

Post Comments (10)

10 thoughts on "The Centrality of Christ"

  1. Isaac Jones says:

    God is pre-imminent in all things. He created everything and redeems everything; He is the Beginning and the End. What is the first? What is the best? The answers to all is God.

  2. Isaac Jones says:

    God is the foremost of Man; He is the best man.

  3. Isaac Jones says:

    Help me to hold you as pre-imminent in my life; may I put you first in all things. Lead me to glorify you in everything always. May I think of you and not myself. I trust your sanctifying work in my life which will glorify you. Thank you for salvation; thank you for the Holy Spirit. Thank you for being so wonderfully glorious in character and deed that everything about you is great and incomprehensible. There is no one like you. There will never, ever be anyone like You! To You, God, be all power all honor and all authority so the world may know; amen!

  4. Isaac Jones says:

    I will honor Him as first. I desire to remember to look to God first in reading the Bible, prayer, or sacrificial action. I will seek to turn to Him before my own comforts or worldly responsibilities.

  5. Isaac Jones says:

    God’s mercy and power is the gospel. He is the way; is the power; He is the answer.

  6. Blair funk says:

    God fully revealed himself in the person of Jesus

  7. Blair funk says:

    It clearly proclaims Jesus as one with God— His image before the creation of the world and the reconciler to all things both in heaven and earth.

  8. Blair funk says:

    Man has one path to righteousness … The atoning blood of Christ.

  9. Blair funk says:

    As Christ is my savior my battle with sin has been won. My debt pAid. It’s is a gift I don’t deserve. I will surrender my thoughts and actions to Jesus while my flesh and mind live daily in a world that strives to pull me away from my focus on a Victorious Life

  10. Blair funk says:

    Lord. Less of me. Rule my life. Amen.

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