And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in haven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. (Col. 1: 18-20)

What does ‘supreme’ mean? The dictionary says, ‘Highest in rank or authority’ or ‘greatest of the great’. How does Jesus fit the criteria?

He, not some lower-ranking god who is far removed from God, is the Creator of the universe. The consistent witness of the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments is that Jesus is the Creator of all things. It was Jesus who, in the Old Testament, was called ‘the angel of the Lord’, and who, as Jesus Himself said, appeared to Moses at the burning bush (John 8: 58); and to Isaiah in the temple. (Isa. 12: 39-41)

It was Jesus, whom the Bible called ‘the Word’ (John 1: 1), through whom God created the universe and everything in it, both seen and unseen, and to whom God gave the authority to rule (Eph. 1: 22) for the sake of the church. Jesus is the beginning or initiator of Creation and the sustainer of all things. He holds everything together by His powerful word. (Heb 1: 3)

Just as Jesus is the initiator of Creation, so also He is the initiator of the New Creation, the church. The church came into being through Him. He shed His blood to reconcile God’s alienated children to Himself and to bring them back into His household to be His beloved family once again. The church is the visible representation of His kingdom on earth. He is the supreme Head of the church. (Col. 1:18)

He is also the firstborn from among the dead. He raised dead people to life again during His sojourn on earth but they were doomed to die again because of sin. Jesus’s resurrection from the dead signified that He had beaten sin. Sin killed Him but sin could not hold Him in the grave. Without the resurrection, His death would have been no different from the death of any other human. His death would have been proof that the devil still has the power of death.

Death could not hold Him in the grave. He busted out of death into a resurrection life that can never die again. He became the prototype of all those who believe in Him, the firstborn from among the dead. He fulfilled the requirements of the firstfruits, which guaranteed God’s blessing on the rest of the harvest.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For, since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. (1 Cor. 15:20-21)

The resurrection is the final proof that all Jesus ever said, did or promised is authentic. Because He lives, we shall live also. (John 14: 19) Paul was writing to counter the nonsense people were teaching for which they had no authority except the fanciful imagination of human minds. He not only had the backing of the ancient Scriptures but also the historical truth of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection to write what he wrote and teach what he taught without fear of contradiction.

What other religious teacher could claim what Jesus claimed and then pull it off to prove that He spoke the truth? Did Buddha, Mohammed, Joseph Smith or any other person who made great claims, ever do that? Did any of them say they would be killed and raise again? To try to disprove the words and works of Jesus, some even declare that the Bible has been corrupted and is no longer the truth. On what grounds? No amount of maligning the record can disprove the resurrection.

Millions of people throughout the centuries after Christ have trusted Jesus’s word and committed their lives into His hands. The early Christians and many since have paid for their faith with their lives. Even today, thousands die brutal deaths rather than deny their faith. Why? Are they sacrificing themselves for a lie? No. They are convinced that Jesus spoke the truth and they have staked their destiny on it.

Jesus said to her (Martha), ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ (John 11: 25, 26)

SCRIPTURE TAKEN FROM THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.



Luella Campbell

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