I’m still looking at Colossians 1:15-23. Again, this passage is life-changing!
I was thinking the other day on the topic of ‘the gospel’. Asking myself, what is the gospel? Often in the past when I thought about the good news what would instantly come to mind are the facts – the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. So to me the gospel was a creedal statement about the facts of who Jesus is and what happened in his life. But just recently I’ve realized that if the faith or hope that we Christians preach is simply a string of facts, we can stop preaching it BECAUSE THE HISTORY CHANNEL DOES THIS EVERY YEAR!!!
In the span of a year the History Channel will broadcast something about the birth of Jesus (around Christmas), the life, death and what the Apostles thought about the ressurrection (somewhere around Easter), and even the coming of Jesus and the end of the world (usually in January or in the summer). If the gospel is about presenting all our facts and being able to defend some of them, then the History Channel has got it covered.
What I love about this passage in Colossians is that it presents the story of Jesus on a cosmic level or scale. Where God the Father, through his Son Jesus is reconciling ALL THINGS to himself. So Jesus takes center stage. I LOVE the way the Message Bible paraphrases it:
“For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body. He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.”
JESUS CHRIST IS AT THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING. Through the BLOOD of Jesus the world is being steered to its ultimate culmination IN Jesus. So the gospel is more than just a string of facts, it is the message that says ALL THINGS are being reconciled to God in Christ. This is exciting because we as Christians can model the gospel! Or in other words, we can EMBODY the gospel. We best embody the gospel when every portion of our existence screams Jesus Christ!
Think about it, the watching unbelieving world can dawn the doors of our churches, hear our greatest messages, and experience the most powerful worship – and yes, some will be saved. But I will argue that the greatest witness of the gospel to the world is a life so steeped in Jesus that such a life radiates his glory! So the goal and purpose of my life (and yours) needs to be for everything we do and say and think to find its place in Christ.
Hope this helps or challenges someone today!
Nice post. I’ve been thinking about Jesus lately in the context that you brought up. It seems like a lot of times people/groups are focused on only Jesus’ role in personal salvation rather than seeing Him in a more full light. I guess I’ve been reading about that recently (Brian McLaren’s Secret Message of Jesus, to name one book), and have noticed several speakers discuss that issue. I like the History Channel point, too.