Bro. Caleb Taft
Knowing our King | Colossians 1:18
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
"And he is the head of the body, the church"
The previous verses were presenting Christ as the Head of creation, The "Firstborn of every creature." Verse 18 reminds us that while is head of all things and authoritative in all things he is especially the head of the Church. When I read this verse I immediately thought of the crowning jewel of Christ's creation. It was not man but man and woman. Man was created in the image of God and was the head of the creation, he ruled animals, tilled the land, and subdued the earth but God said it was not good that he was alone, so out of the side of Adam came Eve. Adam was the head of all creation but his relationship with Eve was quite different than with the land or the animals. She was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. There was an intimacy that he had with her and they shared in the work of God together.
All of this puts me in mind of Jesus who is our "Second Adam." Christ is the head of the birds, fish, land animals, and also the heavens and the land and principalities and powers. But his affection is toward His Bride the Church. What a wonderful truth to hold on to, that the head of all things is our head, and in a much closer sense! We don't have a relationship with our creator like the birds do, "ye are of more value than many sparrows," but we have an intimate relationship with Jesus. It is wonderful that he is the head of all creation but tenfold more wonderful that he is my bridegroom and my head. As Eve was bone of Adams bone and flesh of his flesh, meaning that he was the firstborn and everything he was she was and created for him, so it is with the Church. We are in Christ and everything that Christ is we are. I am not saying we are his equal but we are bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh in the new creation, He has made us a "New creature." We were born of our first father Adam into sin and Christ was still our head but in a non-intimate way, but when we were born again we became joint-heirs with Jesus, his death became my death, his Ressurection became mine, his righteousness became mine, his hope became mine we have for a groom the God of all creation and the reconciler of all things to himself! Not only were we created by Jesus but we are completed in Jesus in the new creation he has made us. This takes us to the next phrase.
"Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead"
This is akin to what was said in verse 15, "The Firstborn of every creature." Meaning he has preeminence in creation. Here it says that he is the firstborn from the dead. He was not the first to raise from the dead, we have many examples of people raising from the dead throughout the Scriptures before Christ was here. In verse 15 he was introducing us to the "I Am" Christ and in this verse, he is introducing us to the "I am the resurrection" Christ. Before any of these others were raised, Jesus was and is "the resurrection." Remember the story in John eleven? Martha is upset that her brother has died, Jesus shows up and comforts her with these words "Thy Brother shall rise again." She believes in the final resurrection and assumes that this is what Jesus is talking about: "Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day." What she did not realize is that she was talking to the "Firstborn from the dead." He tells her, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" He points out a very important issue of our faith, She believed in a resurrection, the fact of it, but her faith needed to be founded on something more concrete than facts, but on a person. The resurrection is not a fact we place our faith in it is a person we put our faith in. Jesus is the resurrection. "Believest thou this?" We know the story he goes to the tomb and speaks the words "Lazurus, come forth" and he comes forth. What an illustration of the day that the "The resurrection" resurrected us! He called me personally and powerfully and I was resurrected to new life!
Jesus was not the first to resurrect but he was the first to resurrect to never die again. All the others who were resurrected died later on. But Jesus was the first to die and be raised to never die again. He was the first but he certainly was not the last, our forerunner opened up the way for all who would believe in him to be raised to life eternal! I was raised from the dead and made alive to God 24 years ago and that new creation will live on for eternity! This body will be buried and return to the dust of the earth but that new creature I am in Christ will never die, O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? Thank God he was the first but he certainly wasn't the last!
"That in all things he might have the preeminence."
The above statement summarizes the last several verses. It is for this purpose that God did the things spoken of in these verses and revealed them to us in this letter to the Colossians. That Christ might have the preeminence and that we might know that he is preeminent. That is, He is the first rank and chiefest of all things in creation and the church. In Song of Solomon 5:10, He is seen as "The Chiefest among ten thousand." In Psalms 89:27 He is "Firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth." He is who John the Baptist said was not worthy to latch his shoes, He said in Matthew 28:18 "All power is given unto me." John said "We have received of his fulness." We could go on but dear reader Jesus is the fairest, the chiefest, the highest, there is none other like him! What a wonderful truth but far greater still is the fact that this marvelous, glorious, Holy, perfect, Saviour is mine! This is Jesus and this is our Jesus! I believe this is the drive of this epistle, to introduce us to our Savior so that we might know Him for who he is. To know that we are pardoned by the preeminent, a new creature by the creator of all things, Joint-heirs with Jesus! O What a Savior is Mine!
He is preeminent, does he have the preeminence in your life?