If we ever had any doubt concerning Christ's place in the Cosmos, Paul is emphatic that He is Supreme, the Head, the Creator, pre-existent and sustainer of all that can be seen or is unseen. That is to say, all the laws which govern and sustain order and prevent chaos in the universe are an expression of the mind of the Son. He is the beginning of creation, the end of creation and the power who holds creation together. We don't quite comprehend the mighty power of the one we worship as Saviour and Friend! Just as with John in writing his Gospel, Paul faces the threat of the Gnostics full on. Their belief that Jesus was just one of many intermediaries between humans and God is decimated by his words here. Paul knew the dangers of such beliefs, as they took away the centrality of Jesus to the Christian faith. We must be clear that Jesus is the One we worship: not the Bible or a system of ethics or morals. Being a Christian is enjoying a personal love relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul states categorically here that Jesus Christ is the IMAGE of the invisible God, that is that He is the perfect manifestation of God. To see what God is like, we must look at Jesus. The word used here for image is the same as in the creation story in Genesis 1, referring to humans. Thus, Jesus not only shows us who God is, but what we-you and I-were meant to be! Jesus is the perfect manifestation of God and the perfect manifestation of what it is to be human! Both Jews and Gnostics had a highly developed belief system concerning angels. Paul states that Jesus is so much higher than the angels that He created them! Spend a minute now reflecting on what you have just read. Remind yourself that this is He whom you worship: the man hanging naked and dying on the cross, but also the Creator and Sustainer of the Cosmos! He experienced the depths so that you and I can experience the heights.
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