Colossians 1:18 ‘He is the Head of the Body, the Church…’
Pic # 4 from the planned Colossians 1:15-20 board book.
The Church—all those who have ever or will ever trust in Jesus as Lord, God, and Savior across all of time and space—is the Body of the crucified and risen Christ, and He is her Head. The richness of this reality is inexhaustible, the intimacy of this union is inconceivable, the implications of this oneness are unfathomable. I’ve tried to communicate some of these things in today’s image.
The Church herself is comprised of 12 individuals, representing the fullness of God’s people (12 Tribes, 12 Apostles). Their placement within the figure of the Church alludes to the NT’s description of the Bride of Christ as the ‘Mother’ of all believers (Gal.4:26-27, cf. Is.54:1, Rev.21:1-4) and their red color pictures them as both born and redeemed through the paschal blood of their Lord.
As the individual members are within the Church, the Church herself is within Christ. She is indivisible from her Lord and Head—one flesh and one spirit with Him (Eph.5:31-32; 1 Cor.6:17)—such that all her good and glory flow from her union to the Slain and Risen One. From Christ’s right hand flows the Church’s blood-washed garment of righteousness (Rev.7:14; 19:8), and from His left, the golden crown of her final glory, which is His own (Heb.2:9, Rev.21:11).
Upon Christ’s crown—which is His Bride’s—are the five wounds of His passion, now transfigured in the light of His resurrection as precious, ornamental stones; this pictures the sure hope that all the loss, all the suffering, all the sorrow, all the shame, all the death and all the damnation that Jesus bore in His body upon the cross, *has been* turned to the Beauty of God through the resurrection—and so surely *will be* turned to beauty for His Bride, who is that crucified and risen Body.
The Bride still stands within mortality (pictured in the half circle of the tomb stone), but the radiance of her Head’s resurrection pours down over her, illumining—and so defining—the shadow of her Death by the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, which is eternal Life (2 Cor.4:6; Jn 17:3).