How is it that the atoning work of Jesus on the cross brings about the reconciliation of all creation? Paul’s initial assertion in verse 19 provides an essential framework for answering this crucial question. Jesus was not just some great teacher or prophet, but in Jesus, all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. Jesus was God incarnate- in the flesh. Only God, in his perfection and sinlessness, could take on the sins of the world and restore all things, whether on earth or in heaven, back to the creational flourishing we read about in Genesis 1 and 2. The cross of Christ did not just pay for sin. Rather, the cross is doing quite a bit more than saving souls and changing hearts. The cross is the initiation of the restoration of all creation. Through Jesus’ blood, he made peace between creation and God. There is nothing on earth or in heaven that is outside the scope of Christ’s redemptive power. This is to emphasize the sufficiency of Christ’s work of reconciliation. If you were to keep reading, Paul makes clear that we are responsible for participating in this ongoing work of reconciliation. Paul makes clear that reconciliation is not some automatic process; it works itself out through our response of faith. As we think through our resolutions for the new year this week, let us be people who seek to find ways to participate with God in his work of reconciliation, both in our lives and the world around us.
"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."