Jesus Christ Preeminent
We move into a new year and a new decade. But the testimony of God, the living words that proceed from the mouth of our Father do not change. We look for a fresh word, something like that manna in the wilderness that is for today. He is always the bread of life. He always is life Himself. We can always turn to Him that our inner man, our Spirit would be strengthened. So I was unsure what to write for this blog and I heard “write about Jesus.” Pretty simple, very direct, and always appropriate.
This passage from Paul’s letter says so much in a few words. I have a card for introduction to this blog and the words on the back state my purpose. “That Jesus Christ might be seen for who He truly is .” We could stop right there and sit with that thought for a long while. Do you know Him? Are you growing in that knowledge? He is the image of the invisible God. After 2000 years, it does not cease to cause me to wonder why such resistance to Him continues. Over the last few years, Psalm 2 continues to ring true. “Why do the nations rage and the people imagine a vain thing?” We cannot face the fact of our deep human need and that God has provided the answers in His Son. That sounds so trite, so simplistic, and our human pride says it must be another way. To be sure life has it’s complexities and we can get stuck in perplexity.
Don’t stay there. He has made peace (vs. 20) through the blood of His cross. He has reconciled all things to Himself. We must say that in the broad view of humanity and the cosmos, that is yet a work in progress. For Paul, I think he had a present awareness of that reality. He walked worthy of his calling to be a demonstration of that reconciliation. He gave his life, laid it down, so that God might pour him out for many to come to the Lord. That is an apostolic calling. Paul knew and continually worked that God’s purpose was to reveal Christ to the world. Continue reading his words to the Colossians and Paul expresses these thoughts deeply and beautifully. Remember Paul had significant, spiritual experiences. He was blind for 3 days after His initial meeting with the Lord Jesus. It blinded him! And the Lord sent a man for his restoration. Later he was brought into the third heaven. While he was not free to share the details, it changed him and his perspective.
Are you growing in grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to desire spirituals (I Cor. 14:1) but we are warned by many about seeking “experiences.” Is your goal to know Jesus? Paul, Saul at the time, was not looking for Him, he was persecuting Him! Are His ways higher than pour ways! Yes they are! Paul later said he was zealous for God but not according to knowledge. And we must say that Stephen’s witness as Saul held the coats of those who stoned Jesus’ friend Stephen, was part of that process of the Lord capturing Saul. Transformed so that he changed his name to Paul. So I, and others, continue to seek His face. Yes we do so to seer our land healed but a higher call exists and is heard. Come to me, the Lord says, so that we might know each other. Whether the land is fully restored to our liking, or not. Does your heart belong to Him? Are your affections set above where He sits today?
We are aware, or we should be aware, of the importance of the cross of Christ. It has been a symbol, a picture, almost an idol. The reality of what Christ did shook the natural and spiritual world. For those present in Jerusalem at the time, it was filtered through their relationship to the man, Jesus. Some loved Him dearly. Some thought He was the hope of the nation and that was now dashed. Many hated Him and thought His death would save the nation. The high priest had no idea what he really said when he declared that it was good for one man to die. He was the reconciliation of man with God. The Father’s plan and purpose were accomplished. God had seen it from the foundations of the world and the world was about to hear what had been done. It was important for the Son to spend 40 days with them, with His church, to show Himself.
It has not changed today. He told them before His death that He would not leave them orphans. He would not leave them alone. He would come to them. He came by the Spirit. As though that were not enough, He met John on Patmos and gave specific instructions and messages for each of 7 churches throughout Asia. I think it important to note that Jesus focused upon what were in lands foreign to the Jew. He did not have a message for the church at Jerusalem. That church had been dispersed. Peter in his first letter addresses believers as pilgrims dispersed. The thought is that these who had been scattered from Judea were like seed spread throughout the world to carry the truth. The Lord of the harvest had scattered His people for a purpose. May He so move us and direct our steps, arranging divine connections that life might flow and He would have that people, that bride, that He gave Himself up for.