The Preeminence of Christ
On the pages of Holy scripture, we have been given the truth. Through the scriptures God has chosen to reveal His glorious person to us. This is ultimately and intimately seen in His Son, Jesus Christ. While we may hold such a statement to be true, its meaning is often lost in our daily lives. We often pass too quickly over the great truths of who Jesus is and what He did. It is important to take our time when thinking about Jesus because the greatness of what He did is linked to who He is and conversely, what He did declares His greatness. This means that the person and work of Jesus Christ are not to be separated. So, in the few moments I have with you here, I want to direct your attention to the preeminent person of Christ as fuel for giving your mind to the glories of God in the Gospel.
A very good place to go to see this foundational truth is Colossians 1:15-20. This passage is one of the most concentrated places in Scripture where we can observe Jesus’ preeminence. The passage starts at the divinity of Christ.
“15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” (NASB)
Jesus is the exact representation of the invisible God. All that God is, Jesus is because He is God (John 1:1). He is uncreated and needs nothing to sustain Himself because He is eternal and self-sufficient. Jesus is infinite and incapable of any change in His essence because He is Holy. Verse 15 also shows us that Jesus is the heir of all things because he is the “firstborn of all creation”. The word “firstborn” here does not refer to Jesus’ birth, as in the incarnation, but rather it is a legal designation given to the heir of a realm or an inheritance.
“16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions 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.” (NASB)
Jesus is also the Creator. He is the one who fashioned and brought all things into being. From our skin colour to the trillions of stars that light our night sky, Jesus is completely responsible for them all (Genesis 1). Even the angels cannot escape from this statement of truth. Jesus Christ is the One who made them and gave them their varying glories. Verses 16 and 17 do not conclude with this. We read on that Jesus did all this for Himself. In addition, Jesus is said to be before or above all these things and by His power actively sustains all that He created. To acknowledge that Jesus Christ, for His own glory, created all things and holds the very fabric of reality together by His power should destroy our pride, causing us to lift our heart, mind and body in praise to Him, the Magnificent. We exist, have purpose and hope because of His grace and gladness to share Himself with us. Secular Humanism which prevails to varying degrees in the minds of men today, falls oh so short to the truth of Christ.
“18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” (NASB)
Verses 18-20 builds on Christ’s eternal nature introducing us to His mediatorial role as the God-man. Jesus is the head of the church. He is the first to rise from the dead and ascend to be with the Father in glory, so that He alone, might be first in rank and influence over all humanity. God The Father was pleased to have completeness to be found in Jesus Christ by the reconciliation of all things through His spilt blood. In Jesus are all the gifts of God’s grace to all of creation. In particular for His church; composed of sinful men like you and I being brought back to God by the forgiveness of sin and the free gift of Christ’s righteousness. This fullness of grace resides in Him infinitely. So that in relying on Him, all our needs and weaknesses are supplied through Him.
Whether we reflect upon Jesus Christ from His eternal nature or His mediatorial ministry, we should let the excellency of His preeminence and supremacy shine into our minds and hearts from day to day. Remembering the truth about Jesus, let us trust Him who is so highly exalted above every insecurity we experience, above every uncertainty in life and above every sin we may struggle with. These things cannot overwhelm Him or require more than He can supply. Jesus Christ supplies us with grace to live pleasing to Him as we were made to do. Facing the preeminence of His Lordship in all things should yield obedience in His people. What this means is that we are to prioritise the interests of our Lord and Saviour to the extent that all our life points to the truth of the Gospel and its Object—Jesus Christ.
So, let us bow our heads and raise our hearts to the only One worthy to be Lord over everything. Let us do so in great joy and fear, for we are His and He is ours.