As we continue to think about what it means to be culturally engaged Christians we must take a look at the turning point. Where have we been so far? First, we are created in God’s image. Second, we failed and failed big. Third, the Law was given as an overseer to show us our need for the Son. Now, we come to this place, the turning point.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. (Colossians 1:15–23 ESV)“
Paul is at his best here. He paints for us a compelling picture of a rupture in the entire world system. There was a new emperor in town and this one conquered through a criminal’s death. He won the day through blood being shed but not someone else’s, his own. Dostoyevsky argues in Crime and Punishment that all great men are proven great by getting away with murder. The King was so great that he orchestrated his own murder and then overcame through resurrection.
Then there is this phrase, ”…through him to reconcile to himself all things…“ It is this reconciliation that makes us human again.
Prior to the King overcoming death, we were in exile, not politically, but in our identity. We were exiled from who we really are: ambassadors to the King’s creation. We lived in broken relationship from our federal head who.
We were not human.
In relationship with the King through his reconciling work we become human again.
With reconciled identity and being and purpose we can finally be who we ought to be.