Jeremiah 4:19-5:19; Colossians 1:18-27; Psalms 77:15-20; Proverbs 18:22
NT: “He is also the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile everything to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds as expressed in your evil actions. But now he has reconciled you by his physical body through his death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before him — if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard.” (Colossians 1:18-23a CSB)
The Greek word for ‘reconcile’ in this passage is ‘apokatallasso.’ Apo means any kind of separation of one thing from another. Katallasso means to exchange one thing for another, reconcile variances, and return to favor. Reconciliation, therefore, has to do with restoring favor, reconciling any variances, and exchanging separation for unity. When mankind sinned, it created a vast separation between humanity and God. Creation, which had been put under the dominion of mankind, was subjected to a rudderless and futile existence. Therefore God initiated His plan to redeem humanity from sin and reconcile all things to Himself. That plan had a singular point of execution. All of God’s efforts led to that singular point, and all humanity’s hope emanated from from it. That point was the sacrificial death and victorious resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ wasn’t just a sinless man who died on a cross and then miraculously rose from the dead – even though that in itself is pretty amazing. Jesus Christ, though in limited human form, was full of all the fullness of God. All of God’s power… all of God’s authority… all of God’s life… all of God’s love resided in the Man Christ Jesus, so that through Jesus, all things could be reconciled back to God. The once sacrificed and now resurrected Christ is the beginning of a new race and a new reality. He is the first-fruits of God’s successful plan of redemption: a man full of the life and power of God, ever-living in perfect unity with God. All who place their faith in Him will be made like Him: holy, faultless, and blameless – completely reconciled to God. Because everything pointed to Christ, and everything emanates from Christ… because He is our new beginning and our hopeful end… because He is the head and Lord of God’s new race of holy and reconciled people known as the church, we give Him first place in everything. It is by Him, through Him and because of Him that we live, breathe and have our new being before God. Therefore, in all things, we must place Him first.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You, that in You I am completely reconciled to God. No longer do I have to live separated from God. Through faith in You, the separation has been exchanged for unity. As You are in the Father, and I am in You, I am unified with God – holy, accepted, and loved. Because all of my life, all of my purpose, and all of my home comes from You, I give You first place in everything. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.