“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”
Colossians 1:21-22 (NIVUK)
What is the significance of the crucifixion, not only for us, but for all of humanity?
In the above passage Paul gives a direct comparison to the Colossians so that they could understand fully what happened on the cross. It is a before and after comparison. Before the crucifixion they were alienated from God because of sin, and afterwards they are presented in and through Christ without any accusation or guilt of sin. They have been reconciled.
Some of the Colossians thought that reconciliation could be achieved in different ways. There was a teaching about how angels could perhaps mediate on our behalf, and also ideas about how observing laws and days could initiate God’s grace. Paul breaks right through all those false concepts and gets right to the basic truth of the gospel: it is by the death of Christ’s physical body on the cross that he brings reconciliation to us. It’s not by anything we can or could do or have done, but only through the sacrifice of Jesus.
Thus “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him (Jesus), and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:19-20).
You and I, and everyone who lives, has lived and will live, have been reconciled!
The question for us is: will we live and behave in the spirit of that reconciliation?
Father, thank you that, through the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself on the cross for us, and that through his sacrifice we stand reconciled before you. In Jesus’ name.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. This weekend James in speaking at our Scottish Retreat near Falkirk. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations in the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.