(If this day occurs on the first Sunday after Christmas,
please refer to that devotion instead.)
The Hope of Glory
Here in Colossians is some of the grandest teaching in Scripture about exactly who our Savior is. We read on Christmas Day John 1:1-18 where we meditated on the fact that Christ is “the Word” who is with God and is God. Today we see this same teaching expanded. This beloved Son of the Father is the image of the invisible God. Jesus once told Philip, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father (John 14:9). Besides the purpose Christ fulfilled in our redemption, his other purpose was to reveal the Father to us: “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known” (John 1:18). This revelation of the Father which the Son provides for us, he is able to provide because he is “the exact imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:3). In the phrase, “firstborn of all creation,” we are not to think that he was created (God forbid!), but of his being begotten of the Father, that is, his coming forth from Him. Paul continues, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth.” Proverbs 8:29-30 rehearses the same teaching about the Son centuries before: “When he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight.” Indeed, “All things were created through him and for him.” Did you catch that: “and for him.” In other words, the Father, who is the fount of creation, who created the world through the Son, created the world FOR the Son, and, we might even say, gave it to the Son as a gift. Thus, the world rightfully belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Then the passage moves on to who Christ is for the Church: her Savior and her Head. He is able to reconcile her to himself because of his person which is made up of two natures: first, his divinity, “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell”; and second, his humanity, for we “who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present [us] holy and blameless and above reproach before him.” And this is “the mystery hidden for all ages and generations but now revealed to the saints,” upon “whom the end of the ages has come” (1 Corinthians 10:11), which is simply this: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” This is the mystery revealed in the gospel, that God has visited us, dwelt among us, and come to save us. In his person “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” And the wonderful part of the story is that these treasures are all ours for the taking. This is why he came: to show us the Father, and bring us back to the Father, through his body. So we who were “alienated and hostile in mind” towards Him are now reconciled to Him. No man could manufacture something so sublime as this.