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April 14

19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him.irreproachable before him.Colossians 1:19-22

The poet William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), at the end of World War I, lamented in his poem, “Second Coming“: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.” Yeats saw the rubble of broken dreams and broken people in a shattered world. One has only to think of 9/11, Amber Alerts, Columbine High School, Auschwitz, crack babies, and child prostitution to know that Yeats was right. Our world is tragically broken, things do fall apart, and we don’t know how to begin to make it right.

The implications of today’s text are staggering and breathtaking! In Christ, God has acted to put the pieces together, to heal, and “to reconcile to himself all things.” And the “all things” does mean “all things”!

Here before us is something cosmic, transcendent, beyond mortal powers to conceive or take in. When we read this in the light of all Scripture, we see God’s purpose unfolding to bring all things together to where he wants them to be: “by making peace through the blood of his cross.” Not only are people redeemed through the cross, but even the universe will be brought back together into the divinely intended order. Through the cross God will renew all that he has created into “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1).

While we would not speculate on what the renewed earth will be like, we do know that “all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12) and “the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40), in praise of the Redeemer. God is truly making all things new!

Today’s text concludes by speaking to us personally. God has begun his reconciliation and his new creation with us, as he “has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him.” It was not the nails that held Jesus to the cross but his love for us. Through his death he has made us holy, blameless, and irreproachable before God.

Crown Him the Lord of love, behold His hands and side,
Those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye at mysteries so bright.

– Matthew Bridges, Crown Him with Many Crowns


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