Colossians 1:16 says, “by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth… all things were created through him and for him.” The “him” is Jesus. Just stop and think about that for a moment.
The bloke who walked the earth for 30 or so years was also the one who made it all in the first place. When he was born as a baby it was the most spectacular act of humility but it wasn’t the beginning for him. He had been there when everything else had come into being; indeed he was the one doing the bringing into being.
It is too easy to relegate Jesus in our minds. Sometimes we think of him as just another man. A very wise man who was profoundly influential but just a man. Other times we remember that he is God, but limit the influence of his divinity to what he did when he lived. Either way, the effect is that Jesus becomes a remote figure of history and we end up looking for something more to listen to and give ourselves to.
Colossians encourages us to “Stay rooted” in Christ Jesus, but if he is just a figure of history, even a divine one, it will never quite be enough. We are always looking for our very beginnings, our reason for being, our source and sustainer, the one who understands us at the deepest possible level and that’s what we have in Jesus. If we forget that then “elementary principles” (Col 2:8) will take us away. If we remember that then we will never look beyond Jesus because there’s no such thing.
But there’s more. Everything was created through him and for him. That means that there’s not one atom in our universe that was not created for his purposes. There’s not one moment that was not conceived for his praise. There’s not one person who was not created for his pleasure.
Again, it’s easily forgotten as we fall into thinking that the world is heading in a different direction or that our lives have a different ultimate purpose. The result is that we end up looking for more. Jesus might be a help in the day to day and an encouragement along the way, but if life’s about something else then that something else will become my all.
If Jesus is what everything is ultimately about, and I have him, then the search for significance is over. He has made me alive (Col 2:12), forgiven me (Col 2:13), transferred me into his Kingdom of light (Col 1:13) and promised me ultimate glory with him (Col 3:4). That is a reality that gives shape to the rest of my everything in a way that means I’m not looking for more any more.
Image: Library and Archives Canada (Creative Commons)