When live sports shut down earlier this year due to COVID-19, ESPN aired a documentary entitled The Last Dance. It focused on Michael Jordan who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles. The storyline declared Jordan to be the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time), among basketball players. While humans can claim to be the greatest at some things, Jesus Christ is the greatest of absolutely everything (v. 18)! The season of Advent tells the story not just of a baby in a manger, but the supremacy of Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, now incarnated or made visible as a human being (v. 15). We celebrate that the Greatest of All became one of us!
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul affirmed that Christ is “firstborn” or supreme over creation (vv. 15–17). All things were created through Him, including the natural world, human beings, and the supernatural realm (angels and demons). All things were also created for Him, meaning that they serve His purposes and bring Him glory. Finally, all things continue to be dependent on Him, that is, they exist or “hold together” because of Him (v. 17).
Christ is supreme in redemption (vv. 18–20). He is the “head of the body, the church,” the company of the redeemed (v. 18). He was the first to be raised from the dead with a glorified body—in time, we will follow. His shed blood paid the price for our sin and made our peace with God. By His Son’s substitutionary atonement, God reconciled all things to Himself. The only way God’s perfectly just requirements could be met was through His own perfect love in the Person of His Son.
>> The first line of the Lord’s Prayer is for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Similarly, we can pray for Christ to have the first place in our own lives and on earth, just as He already does in heaven (Matt. 6:9; Phil. 2:9–11).