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Ephesians 1:10

Ephesians 1:10
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Ephesians 1:10, “…to sum up all things in Him, things in heaven and on earth.”


The word I’ve translated “sum up” here is used only one other place by Paul, and that’s in Romans 13:9 where he says that every commandment in the Law is “summed up” in the command to love neighbor. What Paul means in Rom.13:9 is that love is the essence of every commandment…*all* obedience is some form of love, and whenever you see obedience, you see love.


Now, just as love is the essence of all true obedience and to see true obedience is to see love, so too I would suggest that Eph.1:10 teaches that the slain and risen Jesus is the “essence” (as in, the fundamental and underlying truth) of all created reality and to see created reality aright is to see the crucified and risen Jesus. Similarly to the way that a velvet cloth draped over a face will reveal the contours and lines of that face, so too created reality is like a veil laid over the slain and risen Christ, receiving its pattern and form from His own form and thereby revealing that form to those with eyes to see.


Taking the analogy further: Imagine taking the velvet cloth off the face of the person it was covering. Upon seeing the face beneath, you would recognize in it those same structures and proportions that had given the veiling cloth its distinct form while it was still covering the face. In a similar way, the day is coming when—upon seeing the unveiled face of Christ—we will recognize in Him all the structures and patterns and beauties we had known in this creation….He is the one whose form we beheld in the shrouded and twinkling heights of a summer’s night, whose gaze met ours through the canopy of golden leaves, whose voice we heard in the brooks, whose heart we loved in the dewy glades.


All things are grounded in, given being by, and so communicative of the crucified and risen Jesus who is the image of the unseen God (cf Col.1:15-20). This is not universally clear now, but Eph. 1:10 tells us that one day it will be manifest to all. Yes, the day is coming in which all sentient life will recognize—immediately and without division—the beauty of God in Christ bodied forth from every facet of the created world.