Since the second Person of the Godhead is eternal, what was Jesus doing from creation through incarnation? The Great Christology of Colossians 1:15-20 tells us quite a lot. Far from just arriving on the scene for the first time in Bethlehem (Luke 2:11), God says that He alone would be the Savior (Isaiah 43:11) over seven centuries before.
I. Colossians 1:15. Jesus was active as the exact imprint or essence of God. Ask and someone will say that Lincoln is on the penny. Is he or is that his image? Jesus backed this concept up with Caesar (Matthew 22:19-21). Hebrews 1:1-18 further explains this and its necessity for Jesus’ preeminence over all things but especially our salvation. He was God to be our Savior but man to be our sacrifice. Though the subject of theophanies in the Old Testament isn’t conclusive that they are Christ and not angelic ambassadors speaking for God, being the exact representation of God would allow for Jesus to be addressed as God if was indeed Him (Genesis 16:10-13, Genesis 18:17-19, Joshua 5:13 — 6:2, Daniel 3:24-25, et. al.).
II. Colossians 1:16. All things were indeed created through Jesus (John 1:1-18), and so He has dominion over all things as our Sovereign Lord (Romans 9:16-21). This also means that because of His sovereignty, all things were created FOR Him as well. Throughout the Bible, God upholds the idea of property rights (Proverbs 22:28, Acts 5:4). David brings us back to the concept from creation that all things belong to God (1 Chronicles 29:14-16).
III. Colossians 1:17. Jesus has also been active since creation (and still is) at sustaining all things. This means what we often attribute to the laws of nature are really the laws of Christ. Again Hebrews 1:1-3 deepens our understanding of Jesus’ work. That means He was upholding the universe while challenged (Matthew 22:18-21), in the garden (Matthew 26:53-54), before Pilate (John 18:36-37), and at the cross (Luke 23:34). He is sustaining it now while we are here in this chaotic world and for our loved ones who have died in Him.
That Jesus is in control is a comforting thought, especially when we are bombarded by the world’s headlines. We must put our trust in Him and in His gospel!