In my opinion, this is one of the most awesome verses in all of scripture. It is contained within one of the most glorious passages within all of scripture in the letter to the Colossians chapter one. Here, Paul is writing to a church that he did not plant and to people he had never met. They had been seduced by the world system and the culture around them. This involved the Jewish laws, the philosophies of those around them, and erroneous teachings on angels and visions. Really? Can you believe anyone falling for this stuff? And yet… doesn’t it sound vaguely familiar? The Colossians had simply taken Jesus Christ and sliced and diced him into a million pieces. Then, they just picked the pieces they liked and rejected the rest.
So Paul gives them one of the most (if not THE most) glorious descriptions of Jesus Christ in all of scripture – Colossians chapter one. Time does not permit me to go into all of the jewels found in this chapter. But I would like to focus on just a few of them for the next several blog posts.
The Person of Jesus Christ – He Himself
Verse eighteen has a very interesting word structure in it. It uses the phrase – He Himself. I like Young’s Literal Translation for this verse:
And himself is the head of the body–the assembly–who is a beginning, a first-born out of the dead, that he might become in all things –himself–first, (Col 1:18)
Using the word ‘himself’ Paul is emphasizing the personhood of Christ. This is not just a “he”, this is a “He Himself”! It’s almost like a double positive. Paul wants to make sure that the Colossians understand that he is not talking about things, writings, teachings, principles, doctrines, philosophies, or even religious practices and behavior.
He is talking about an actual living, breathing Person!!!
That is the “He” that is being expressed and declared in this letter. This is not just any “He”, it is THE HE! The one and only. And this HE is a real and living Person. In fact, he is the authentic, original, true, and real Person. All other humans were originally fashioned after this Human.
What Does this Person Include?
You have no idea! He is so much more than you can ever imagine.
- He Himself is the reality of the authentic and true Canaan Land (Col.1:12) The word “inheritance” here is a direct reference to the allotted portion given to each tribe in the Canaan land.
- He Himself is the reality and fulfillment of Light (Col. 1:12)
- He Himself is the real Beloved referred to in Song of Solomon and He Himself is the true King! (Col. 1:13)
- He Himself is true Redemption and Forgiveness (Col.1:14)
- He Himself is the reality of the full expression of the Father (Col. 1:15a)
- He Himself is the firstborn, the model, the pattern for all of creation (Col. 1:15b)
- For all creation is by He Himself, for He Himself, and through He Himself! (Col. 1:16)
- He Himself is before all things (Col. 1:17a)
- He Himself is the glue that holds all thing together (Col. 1:17b)
- He Himself is the head of the body, the church (Col. 1:18a)
- He Himself is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead (Col. 1:18b)
- So that He Himself will come to have the first place in all things (Col. 1:18c)
- All of the fullness was pleased to tabernacle (dwell) in He Himself (Col. 1:19)
He Himself is the ALL of God and the ALL of God’s purpose and plan!
There is no other person that God is interested in or concerned about. Yes, He loves the whole world but only in and through this One Person!
His purpose in creation was so that this One Person would be expressed. His purpose in redemption was that this One Person would have a counterpart and that she would fully express He Himself. His purpose in sanctification and transformation is that this One Person would increase and come to fill all things with Himself. God’s purpose in healing is to express that One Person who himself is Health! His purpose in deliverance is to express that One Person who himself has all authority over the devil. His purpose in salvation is to enlarge and expand that One Person who IS Salvation!
And there is so much more to this all-inclusive Christ. I will just touch upon a few of these things that He Himself is in future posts.
So keep a look out in the weeks to come!
Note – the drawing above was done by Megan Cronje in Perth Australia. If you click on the image it will enlarge and you can see the members of this all inclusive Christ more clearly.