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Eternity 85 - In Him Were All Things Created
Colossians 1:16-17 ASV for in him were
all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and
things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things have been created through him, and unto him; (17) and he is before
all things, and in him all things consist.
"Jesus? Ah yes, the nice mild mannered chap with the beard and sandals who blessed small children , healed the sick, and was a good man and a prophet, yes a very interesting religious figure in history". This is the opinion of many and the image of Jesus in the children's bibles and the films and story books. But this is scarcely the Jesus of Colossians, the Cosmic Christ, in whom all creation was made. Jesus is the womb of Creation, for the Universe was formed in Him. Out of His love and personality and thoughts and creativity Creation came. All things, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, were made in Him and were made through Him and were made for Him as their rightful owner. He is prior to all things, "before all things", and holds together the very fabric of life "in Him all things consist.". Jesus Christ the Son of God is superior to all angels, all spirit beings, all kings, all thrones and dominions, and all that says it has some claim to authority. Forget about the beard and sandals and think of the scepter. Consider the One who sits at the right hand of the majesty on high. (Hebrews 1:1-3).
This Cosmic Christ portrayed in Colossians fascinated the Jesuit theologian Teilhard de Chardin. He saw Christ as intimately involved in all the processes of Creation and matter being "divinised" by Christ. Though Teilhard's theology was unusual it contained a core truth - Creation and Christ are closely related. Creation was made for Jesus Christ and finds its ultimate purpose in Him. Whether it is a river or a mountain or a volcano or a frog or a donkey or a man or a woman, we are all made for Him and our purpose in life is bound up with Him. We are even held together by Him, and we fly apart and person apart from Christ, the further from Christ we go, the more fractured and alienated we become. Russian writers such as Dostoevsky and Solzhenitsyn have made this fragmentation apart from Christ a theme of novels such as Crime and Punishment and the essay World Split Apart which can be found at http://www.aibi.ph/history. Harmony with Creation is only possible if we are in harmony with Christ and moving away from our sin that wounds the world and has brought it into bondage. (Romans 8:19-21)
Creation and Christ are so closely related that we cannot reject the Creation and love Jesus. The creation was made for Him, not for us and we when we reject it we reject that which He sustains and owns. Saints like Saint Francis of Assissi have grasped this deeply and seen that Christ expresses Himself in the birds and the trees and the goodness of the created order. The creation may be in bondage but one day it will be freed, and when it is freed we will realise what a glorious prisoner it was. Neither can we disregard Creation and yet find spiritual truth. For Creation gives us many clues to the Nature of God and the heavens declare Him (Psalm 19). Many people are surprised that so many scientists are Christians and that the Science faculty at any university is often where you will find the most born-again Christians. But if you love the beauty and order and simplicity and elegance of Creation and search for its truths you soon find yourself face to face with the mind and personality of God. The sheer elegance of Group Theory in explaining chemistry was a powerful influence on my own conversion in 1978. I am deeply moved by fractal geometry and by the laws of physics and chemistry. These things spoke to me of God, shouted it to me, even while I was a most skeptical atheist.
The intimate relationship between Christ and Creation has at times been overstated and degenerated into pantheism (God=Creation) and panentheism (God dwells in all Creation). Certainly Jesus does not dwell in every rock and the worship of Creation is not the worship of Christ, it is in fact forbidden. But sometimes we have fled so far from these errors that we have ended up losing our sense of beauty and balance and joy. For Creation was designed to fill you with joy! (Isa 65:18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.) We cannot throw out Creation and still have a whole and real and good faith in God. Our faith needs to look in three directions, down into the Scriptures, up to God and out the window into the world He created. It is then that we find balance and peace. Mysticism without the Scriptures can become heresy and the Scriptures without prayer can be dry and deadly and either without looking out the window can become off-balance and even cruel. Those who hate nature or despise their own bodies tend to maltreat other people as well. That rose bush outside the window was made in Christ, was made through Christ and for Christ and He even holds it together - and he rejoices in its beauty. So rejoice in what Jesus Christ has made and praise His name, not just the man with the beard and sandals but Him who holds all things together and for whom the stars were made!
Blessings In Him!
Asian Internet Bible Institute