Paul covers some important topics in these scriptures. He speaks of how Jesus is the image of God. The scriptures tell us that we were created in the image of God. However, the Greek word Paul used in this verse is eikon. Eikon expressed these ideas:
* a likeness, as in an image on a coin or a reflection in a mirror
* a manifestation, as in that God is fully revealed in Jesus
What does this mean? It means that Christ wasn't just created in the image of God, but that Jesus IS the image of God. In other words, He IS God!
Paul also speaks of Jesus as being the firstborn. Not just the firstborn child of Mary, but the firstborn over all creation. What does this mean exactly? Paul's use of this phrase shows that Jesus has preeminence. He is before all created things and is of a supremely different order than all created things. Is a little hard to wrap your head around, isn't it? (I've peeked ahead a bit in my study book, though, and there's some other great info shared in relation to this topic. As I get there and spend more time in it, I'll share some more. I think this is definitely worth more time.)
From these scriptures, though, here is the part that really made an impression on me this week. In verse 13-14, Paul writes "He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whome we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
What a hold the "power of darkness" can have over our lives. It can lull us to sleep and is great at conceling itself... it bring us to a point where we aren't even aware of the evil that is creeping up around us. The power of darkness has the ability to afflict us and depress us and, at the same time, it can fascinate us. The power of darkness is.... powerful.
However, thru Jesus we are delivered from this mighty and negative power. He has given us a way to escape it. God sent Jesus to this earth to bring us redemption. Our sins have been "sent away" and we have been given newness of life and freedom from the powers of darkness.
As I think of this -- this great sacrifice that was made for us -- I am amazed. It takes my breath away and makes me realize anew each day how worthy God is of our praises. How worthy He is of all we have to give back to him... in how we live our lives, in how we choose to touch the lives of those around us, and in how we share His love with all the world around us.
I pray that I would never fail to be amazed by this gift from God. I pray that it would continue to make me more and more aware of how I interact with others -- with how I share the love of God with my neighbors.