Sunday, 5 April 2015

Victory in Glory - Col 2:6 - 15

Fire needs three things: fuel, oxygen and heat. Remove any one and you put the fire out, e.g. a fire blanket smothers the fire, removing the oxygen.

Of course after a major fire you need to rebuild. A new start is a basic image of the Christian faith. The Colossians passage talks about a circumcision: not a medical procedure, but a radical change of heart, a new beginning in life. Old habits, which were fuel for the fire, are gone. Verse 12 talks of baptism and being buried with Jesus - the old life really is to be totally submerged, and gone.

This is not just something we do, but joining with what Jesus has already done. He said 'I have a baptism to undergo', clearly meaning the cross. In dying he can remove the bad, and we know he overcomes it by the fact that he was then raised to new life.

Like our studies in Ephesians this passage talks of spiritual forces and authorities. Anything malignant is dealt with at the cross and rendered powerless before Christ. So why should we now give credence to hollow or deceptive philosophies (v8)? We shouldn't - they are defeated, their power exhausted by Jesus on the cross who effectively smothers them with reservoirs and oceans of love. Like a toddler whose tantrum is only dealt with by the parent holding and loving until calm, Jesus on the cross overcomes the bad.

The Romans made a public spectacle of rebels by hanging them on crosses. It was their way of saying that they were in charge. We have the same today, with beheading videos and other atrocities broadcast on social media. But Jesus on the cross exhausts all that. His love is greater, is victorious. The empty tomb on the third day, the appearances all prove that He is in charge!

So the spectacle now are those malignant powers - rendered powerless by Jesus (v15). With Jesus gloriously alive they have nothing left, they are a laughing stock!

We must now live in the light and power of this glorious victory. So back to v6 and live, be rooted, be built up and strengthened in this. As last time we see God by looking to Jesus on the cross, and we see the big picture by seeing the risen Christ. Our inspiration is not a dead man, but the living God.

So it is this risen Jesus we seek to worship and serve - going out to smother the city with His love and exhaust the bad out there. This is not easy, it requires our lives laid down, and hence we frequently gather together again such as on Sundays to worship and be freshly encouraged, coming back to the source and reservoir of God's love. In that sense our central worship all together is a resource base, strengthening for worship lived out as service of the victorious Christ, taking the reservoirs of love out to a world in need.

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