"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." Colossians 1:15-18
Who is Jesus Christ? The Apostle Paul answers that question in unmistakable terms. Jesus is "the image of the invisible God." In other words, if you desire to know God, know Jesus, for He is God Himself in human flesh.
The Gospel of John (1:1, 14, 18) states of Jesus: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth ... No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."
Jesus is the firstborn of all creation -- not in the sense of being created, but in that all was created by Him and for Him, and He is the inheritor of all. "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist."
Again, the Gospel of John says (1:3, 4): "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men."
Jesus is before all things for, in the beginning, He was. He is the great "I AM," Jehovah God in the flesh (cf. Ex. 3:14; John 8:58).
Jesus is the head of the body, the church, for He loved the church and gave Himself for it -- suffering and dying upon the cross for the sins of all -- that He might present the church (all who have faith in Christ) to Himself, "holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight" (Col. 1:22; cf. Eph. 5:25ff.).
Jesus is the firstborn from the dead because He died for the sins of all and rose again from the dead on the third day. He is firstborn because all who trust in Him for forgiveness and life will also be raised up with glorified bodies on the last day to live and reign with Him forever in His eternal kingdom.
Paul's point to the Colossian believers and to us? Jesus is indeed God Himself in human flesh, being miraculously conceived and born of the Virgin Mary, and we are complete in Him. He is our creator and He has accomplished our salvation by His innocent sufferings and death in our stead. As He rose from the dead on the third day, so He will raise up on the last day all who trust in Him and grant them life everlasting in His heavenly kingdom. Christ Jesus is our life and hope! We need look nowhere else!
O dearest Lord Jesus, Son of God and Son of man, thank You for creating us and giving us life; and thank You for redeeming us with Your holy and precious blood shed for us on the cross that we might be granted forgiveness, new life and a place with You in Your eternal kingdom. Keep us steadfast in You. Amen.
[Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture quotations from the King James Version of the Bible.]