Friday, August 8, 2008

The Table of Reconciliation

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight. (Colossians 1:19-22)
“It pleased the Father.” What wonderful words! It was the gracious will of God that all His fullness should dwell in the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the mystery of the incarnation—God in human flesh. It was His desire to reconcile everything in heaven and on earth to Himself through the blood of Jesus shed on the cross, and it was His pleasure to reconcile us to Himself by the body of Jesus given in sacrifice. This is the mystery of redemption, and it has pleased the Father to do so.

To reconcile means to bring back into alignment, to restore to proper relationship. Eugene Peterson translates it this way in The Message Bible: “All the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe — people and things, animals and atoms — get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of His death, His blood that poured down from the cross” (Colossians 1:20).

Reconciliation requires a settling of accounts, a setting to rights, an atonement. That is why Jesus came. Because of sin, we were once enemies of God, alienated from the Father. But Jesus, Son of God, came in human flesh and offered Himself as an atoning sacrifice for our sin. In Him, through faith in Him, we are restored to proper relationship with the Father. Now we walk in the newness of life, His life. “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10).

By His body, we are presented before God as holy, blameless and faultless. By His blood, we are reconciled with God and have peace with Him. The life we now have is of heaven, though we live it out on earth, for heaven and earth are themselves now reconciled in Jesus Christ. All creation now waits for this to be revealed. It is the revelation of glory Paul talked about in Romans 8:18-21.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
The Table of the Lord is a manifestation of this glory, this liberty, this reconciliation. It reveals Jesus is His flesh and His blood, the fullness of God in human form, and us in Him as the children of God restored to fellowship with the Father.

We come to the Table or the Lord as friends, not as enemies, for we have been reconciled to God by the sacrifice of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf. Our fellowship with Him at this Table of Reconciliation is the revelation of the glory for which all creation is now waiting.

The Focus of Our Faith
The Focus of Our Faith
Paul’s Letters to the Jesus Believers at Colosse
Bite-Size Studies Through Colossians
by Jeff Doles

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