Summary: In all things, in everything, Jesus is preeminent - even creation.
“”Cross Currents: It’s Just A Big Bang Theory”
Advertisers know that we think bigger is better - especially if it’s bigger at a lesser price. So we have 2 for 1 dinner coupons, double discount or double coupon days at the grocery store, and even encouragement to “Super-Size” our burger order. Paul, ever the advertiser, knew the Colossians needed to remember the greatness of Jesus Christ; so in his letter to them he super-sized Jesus Christ - he painted Him with broad strokes to show Him larger than life. He reminded them that in all things, in everything, Jesus Christ is preeminent.
First, Christ is preeminent because He has a unique relationship to God - He is the COPY OF GOD. Verse 15 - “The Son is the image of the invisible God…” God wanted to make himself known; He did not want to remain invisible. But in Himself God is inconceivable and unapproachable. So He eventually fully revealed himself by sending Jesus. Paul says that Jesus is the very substance of God, the manifestation of God. JESUS IS DERIVED FROM AND REPRESENTATIVE OF GOD. W. R. Nicholson explained it by saying that two eggs are like each other but since they are not derived from each other, neither is the image of each other; or two people can be like each other but not be the image of each other; but, he says, the head of a coin is not only a likeness, it is the image of the sovereign. “It is derived from the sovereign, and it is a representation of him.” (i) It is a copy of the sovereign. So Jesus Christ is a copy of God.
There’s an old story about two artists. Each was extremely talented and each had their own audiences of followers. Eventually, the decision was made to host a competition to determine which of the two was truly the best. A panel of experts was selected who would serve as the judges. Once and for all, the question of "best" would be put to rest. On the day of the judging, so many people had come to watch that it was decided to hold the contest outdoors. Because of the sun and wind, and perhaps to raise the suspense just a bit, both paintings were covered with draperies until each was revealed and judged, one at a time. The drapery was removed from the first painting. The judges and the audience gasped as they looked at the image that appeared on the canvas. It was a still life of flowers and fruit. And it looked so real. The colors and the shading were so authentic. In fact, after a few moments, some birds even flew down from the trees and tried to pick the grapes that were painted on the canvas. The crowd cheered as the artist smiled and nodded to the judges who were clearly shaken. All were overcome by the obvious talent of this artist. There was even some discussion as to whether it was even necessary to look at the second painting. But it was decided that they did have to be fair, even if it was a waste of time. The drapery was removed from the second painting. Or at least a judge tried to remove the drapery from the second painting. But as he looked closer, he found that he could not remove the drapery. The drapery covering the second painting was, in actual fact, the painting itself. As the judges and the audience began to realize what was happening, they grew silent. Then a cheer erupted that echoed through the courtyard. The best artist was selected. One painting looked real enough to fool birds, while the second was so real it had fooled everyone.(ii) Sometimes, we all have trouble picking out the real from the unreal, the true from the untrue, or only partially true. What is real? What is the truth? How do we know?
The New Testament declares Jesus is the real true representation, the authentic copy of God – even though many are fooled. “The Son is the image of the invisible God…” (Heb. 1:3) “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory, the exact representation of his being...;” (Col. 2:9) “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form...;” (Jn. 1) “In the beginning was the Word ... and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us...” Even Jesus said (John 14:9) that whoever had seen Him had seen the Father.
Jesus is preeminent because He is the copy of God - therefore WE IGNORE JESUS AT OUR OWN PERIL. Romans chapter 1 shows the results of such ignorance. Jesus shows us God. The only question is whether or not you believe it.