The Preeminence of Christ, Continued
There is so much in these few verses that one devotion could not contain the wealth of biblical teaching concerning the majesty of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So today we pick up with verse seventeen: “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” We are still talking about Christ as the agent through whom the Father created the world which is also discussed in John 1:1-4, 9-10, Hebrews 1:1-4, and Proverbs 8:22-31. But now a new dimension of the discussion enters the picture, for now we discover that Christ is not only the logic and reason and plan of the universe through whom the Father created all things visible and invisible, he is the very “glue” that holds the universe together! We tend to think that the world simply, well, is—that it is in some sense eternal; things come and go but there shall always be a world. Not so. It is not enough that the world be created; it must be sustained. Someone must hold everything together so that (shall we suggest) those protons in the nucleus of the atom which naturally repel one another stay together. The fact is that there is no reason that the world should be so for another day except for the fact that it is so willed to be, and the Person of that willing we call God. And here we discover that the agency of His will that it be so is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Having discussed beginnings, Paul moves to more recent happenings: “He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” This is the Apostle’s manner of speaking of our Lord’s resurrection. Prior to Jesus, no one had ever risen from the dead; the souls of the dead went to their respective places, but their bodies returned to dust. Not so our Lord; his body did not see decay (Psalm 16:9-10). And it is his resurrection which guarantees ours. Thus, Paul puts together our Lord’s being the “firstborn of creation” with his being the “firstborn from the dead,” which is why he is “Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13).
And then Paul adds, “For in him, all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” This is a fullness that is his by nature as Son of God and by the Holy Spirit as the Son of Man (John 3:34). What more can be said? The only one beside the Father is the Son, who is now literally seated at His right hand. Only he who is at the Father’s side has made the Father known to us (John 1:18), only he who is closest to the throne is worthy to open the seals (Revelation 5:6-7). This is the Savior whom we adore: “Who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8).