He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:15-20
When I first started following Jesus, some thirty plus years ago now, this is one of the first texts of Scripture I memorized. These verses are a succinct expression of the gospel. They teach us who Jesus is and they affirm that our whole faith rests on his identity and the blood of his cross. They gave me, and still give me, a rich sense of security. Every time I remember them they recall to me that my hope is in Jesus' power and blood and not, mercifully, in my own worthiness or merit.
All things are created by Jesus and for Jesus – Jesus is God eternal.
All things were reconciled to God through Jesus – Jesus is the Redeemer.
All things are reconciled to God by Jesus’ blood at the cross – Jesus is the Savior.
Here’s a new year’s challenge to you: Memorize this text. When you have it memorized e-mail me and tell me you have it down. I may find you and have you share it with the church (that would be awesome!) While you are memorizing soak up the hope and power of this great truth; let it sink into your heart and into your bones – let it change you.