Summary: Christ Is King Supreme 1) Over all creation 2) For all bound for salvation
One planned on making his horse a senator (Caligula). Another loved to sing but was so bad at it that he had to post guards to keep people from leaving the room when he performed (Nero). And still another dressed in a lion skin and carried a club because he fancied himself the Greek god Hercules (Commodus). The emperors of Rome, like kings from every age and nation, could be downright silly. We should count our blessings that our leaders today aren’t nearly as zany. But even if our mayor was a Caligula, our premier a Nero, and our prime minister a Commodus, it wouldn’t matter because Christ, our saviour, is king supreme. He rules over all creation for all those bound for salvation. Let’s find out how this reality is an everyday comfort for us.
The Christians of Colosse, a city in present day Turkey, needed to hear that their Jesus was king supreme. False teachers had infiltrated their midst suggesting that believing in Jesus wasn’t enough for salvation. They encouraged the keeping of Old Testament laws like resting on the Sabbath. They also suggested that the Colossians worship angels. To make sure that the Colossians understood why Christ was all they needed for salvation the Apostle Paul wrote: “[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together…For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him” (Colossians 1:15-17, 20).
Many of the Roman emperors were considered gods. Sure, they did some impressive things like build monuments that still stand hundreds of years later, but so what? The emperors themselves didn’t actually design or build these temples and aqueducts. They didn’t put compass to drafting paper, or hammer to nail; they had to rely on other people to do these things. Jesus, on the other hand, personally made everything you see and can’t see. It is he who made the stars – medium-sized ones like our sun (still 109 times the diameter of the earth), and big ones like Becrux, 8.1 times the diameter of the sun. He made the white blood cells that tear around your body attacking germs. He made the wind…and controls it, using it to determine where every seed from a dandelion will land. Jesus can do all this because in him dwells the full divinity of God. Your Jesus is not half-God, like a bag of potato chips only half full even though you paid full price for it. Everything that makes God, God, is found in the person of Jesus. That seems impossible doesn’t it? Just as impossible as trying to cram all the potato chips in the world into one bag. But Jesus is the real deal. He is God and therefore king supreme because he rules over all creation.
Now when Roman emperors thought they were god over all that was bad news for their subjects. In their delusion these emperors demanded that everyone wait on them hand and foot, no matter how crazy their desires. Jesus is not a king like that. Listen to what Paul says. “…[God] rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins…19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:13, 14, 19, 20).
God the Father sent Jesus on a mission: rescue us from the dominion of darkness. The dominion of darkness is that place where Satan holds sway. It’s not a place we have to journey to; we’re born into it. Let me compare it to the inside of a trash bin for just a minute. The inside of a trash bin is a dark place. In a way that’s good because if you end up in one, you can’t see all the gross stuff that surrounds you like the half-eaten spring roll, the morning oatmeal, or the soggy tissues. But that darkness is also bad because you can’t see how messy and gross you are! And so it shouldn’t surprise us that when we were stuck in Satan’s dominion of darkness, we didn’t think our situation too dire. Oh sure, we knew we stunk a little, but we didn’t think that we were as bad as that rotten apple at the bottom of the heap. It isn’t until someone opens the trash bin and shines a light down on us that we realize the predicament we’re in. And that is the purpose of God’s law isn’t it? It reveals how spiritually gross we are. The light of the law shines through our sweet smile and winning personality to reveal immoral behavior in the most “innocent” of us. Immoral behavior like thinking because we’re the hardest working employee we can work less hours than we’ve promised in our contract. Or supposing that because we put the food on the table we can verbally abuse our children and spouse with unloving and impatient remarks about the way the house looks. Or that because we’ve cleaned up our room we’re entitled to boss a sibling around who is still working on theirs instead of being a servant and helping them. We’re a spiritual mess. We really are. Fit for nothing but the incinerator.