Col.1:15-17 – TPT – He is the divine portrait, the true likeness of the invisible God, and the first-born heir of all creation. For through the Son everything was created, both in the heavenly realm and on the earth, all that is seen and all that is unseen. Every seat of power, realm of government, principality, and authority—it was all created through him and for his purpose! He existed before anything was made, and now everything finds completion in him.
I love the way the Passion Translation translates this text. Jesus is the divine portrait of the Father. Jesus told His disciples, “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father”. Paul says In Hebrews 1:3 that “The Son is the dazzling radiance of God’s splendor, the exact expression of God’s true nature—his mirror image!” Wow! This is why I say my job as a preacher is to paint His portrait with my words. As we testify to others what we have “seen” of Christ for ourselves He becomes real to the hearers. After all, the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophesy. Here is how John Calvin describes this verse.
“The sum is this — that God in himself, that is, in his naked majesty, is invisible, and that not to the eyes of the body merely, but also to the understandings of men, and that he is revealed to us in Christ alone, that we may behold him as in a mirror. For in Christ he shews us his righteousness, goodness, wisdom, power, in short, his entire self. We must, therefore, beware of seeking him elsewhere, for everything that would set itself off as a representation of God, apart from Christ, will be an idol.”
So it is in Christ that we find our God. We can see glimpses of Him by His handiwork in creation, but at the end of the day they are all shadows pointing us to the substance found in Christ. We can find Him standing outside Lazarus’s tomb calling Lazarus back from the realm of the dead, we see Him with His hand on the casket of the young man from Nain answering the prayer of the grieving mom, we see Him multiplying the fish and bread, walking on water, and casting out the demons. God lives in Christ and reveals His glory to all who are hungry. Open the gospels and you too can see a snapshot of the Lord, one glimpse of His portrait can change you forever.