The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
—Colossians 1:15-23 (TNIV)
Here we have a well developed description of Jesus as being fully human and fully divine several years before the first gospels were written and not even 30 years after Jesus’ crucifixion. Notice how it echoes the Prologue in John’s Gospel (John 1:1-18). Note too the Resurrection hope that is contained in this passage. Paul tells us that Jesus is the firstborn among the dead and that through his blood we have our hope of joining him in his resurrected state. Here again the themes of faith, hope, and (by implication) love are dominant in Paul’s writings.
Moreover, this is why Paul calls his message Good News. God has rescued us from sin, darkness, alienation, and separation from him. This is why we have a glorious hope in Christ. It is not because we are somehow superior or “better people” than unbelievers. In fact, it is just the opposite. Christians have hope because we believe God’s message to us that he has acted decisively on our behalf in the death and resurrection of Jesus. We know that if left to our own devices we have no hope at all. And because we love others, we want them to have life too.
What thoughts and feelings are evoked in you as you read this? How you answer will provide you with good insight into the state of both your faith and your relationship with Jesus.