Many people believe that Jesus is simply whomever we imagine Him to be. But while the real Jesus—the Jesus of the Bible— entered this world as a tiny baby, He was much more than that.
Many people, even Christians, are under the illusion that Christ first came on the scene at Bethlehem. But Colossians 1 reminds us that Jesus Christ is eternal, just as God the Father, and that He was central in the act of creation.
Someone has said that for 2000 years people have tried to nail a sign to the Cross that says, “Necessary, but Not Enough.” So Paul writes Colossians, reminding them that Jesus Christ is enough: He is sufficient—sufficient to save you, secure you, and empower you for the Christian life.
And in Colossians 1:15-20 Paul proves that the sufficiency of Jesus to meet every need can be seen by His centrality in three realms.
1. Jesus Christ is the creator of the universe (Colossians 1:15-17).
Paul reminds us of four truths about Christ and His relationship to creation.
Christ was pre-existent to the creation (Colossians 1:15).
God is invisible—no man has seen him. But Hebrews 1:3 says that Christ is the exact representation of God. When we think of Jesus as the Son of God, we think of the son being inferior to the father. But the idea of "image" is that He is an exact representation of the invisible God. Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
Christ was the cause of creation (Colossians 1:16).
By Him all things were created. The reason we know Christ is central in creation is because He created everything. Again, when we think of the creation, we think of God the Father, but the Bible says that Jesus Christ was the primary agent in creation.
Christ is the heir of creation (Colossians 1:16b).
Jesus planned creation, He produced it, and He did it for Himself and for His heirs—those of us who are a part of His family.
Christ sustains the creation (Colossians 1:17).
The world is like a clock that God has wound up and is now running down. But Paul reminds us that Jesus Christ not only created the world, He sustains it. He holds it in order. Hebrews 1:3 says He upholds things by the word of His power.
2. Jesus Christ is the generator of eternal life (Colossians 1:18).
Jesus Christ was not the first person in history to be raised from the dead. Some were raised in the Old Testament and Lazarus was raised from dead. But all of these people simply inhabited their own bodies and died again.
But Jesus was the first person to be raised into a new resurrection body that would never die again. And His body is the “prototype” of the bodies you and I will receive at the Rapture of the church.
In 1 John 3:2 the apostle writes, “Beloved, now we are children of God and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that when He appears, we shall be like Him.”
People ask all kinds of questions about heaven—will we eat, will we know each other, what will our bodies be like. All you have to do is look at Christ's body after He was raised—He was recognizable, distinct, able to eat regular food and yet had all kinds of supernatural powers as well.
The point is that what is true of Jesus, the head, is true of us, His body. We too will experience victory over the grip of death.
Here is the bottom line question for those of you facing sickness, a layoff, or financial hardship, or family problems: If Christ is sufficient to deliver you out of the grave, isn’t He sufficient to carry you through the crisis you are now experiencing?
3. Jesus Christ is our Reconciler to God (Colossians 1:19-20).
The fact is, Jesus Christ’s sufficiency is best seen in what He has done for us. He did what we could not do for ourselves, or anyone else could do for us—He has made peace with God through His own blood.
Paul's argument in this passage is that Jesus Christ is sufficient. You don’t need other religion or philosophy or experience—you just need Him. His sufficiency is seen in the central role He has in creation, in eternal life, and in our salvation.
That baby born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago is the central subject in this vast universe He has created, and what you choose to do with Him is the central issue in your life and for all eternity.