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Colossians 1:17

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Colossians 1:17, ‘And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.’

Two brief points:

First >> Jesus Christ (precisely as the crucified and risen one), is *before* all things in at least 2 ways: 1) The slain and risen Son precedes all other realities in worth—He is beyond all things in beauty, in excellence, in desirability, in perfection. But 2) He is before all things in chronology…before sun and moon, before Adam and Eve, before Space and Time, there is the crucified and risen Jesus, radiant in the mind of God, the personal foundation of all created existence.

Second >> that the slain and risen Lord is Himself the formative principle of all things. Gravity; cause and effect; the flow of time; the legitimacy of logic; the desiring, seeking, wondering human soul—all these things exist and have their being within the personal, structuring framework that IS the anastasiform Son…Further, He Himself is the Truth in light of whom—and only in light of whom—all chaos and confusion, all pain and sorrow, all the fleeting mists of the world under the sun, in light of whom alone all of these ‘hold together’ and find their harmonious meaning.

In today’s image, then, Christ’s preeminence is presented by His enthronement at the center of the cosmos; He is ‘before all things’ in that He rules all things—wielding the cruciform scepter of sovereign love—as the exalted and eternal Son from the throne of the Father.

That ‘all things hold together’ in Him is pictured in the orbit of the planets around His face. The beauty of God streaming from the face of the Son *is* that which binds, orders, harmonizes and renders meaningful all that exists.

The three-branches extending from Jesus’ head picture His cross, now glorified by the resurrection, His five wounds set as gems in its golden bars. This cross embraces the whole of the cosmos, thus picturing His sovereignty over all things (c.f., ‘globus cruciger’). This also transfigures all of creation into the halo of Christ, reminding us that—ultimately—every millisecond and micrometer of existence displays (and will be seen to display) the glory of God in the Crucified One who is Risen.