To Present Us Holy and Blameless
Colossians 1:15, 19-22
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
[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.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.
Often when we meditate on the Good News, we reflect on something that has happened and is true – “we were reconciled to God”. Often, we meditate on a name or attribute of Jesus – “our Passover lamb”. Who is solving this problem? It is Christ (verses 15-19). Who has the problem? Verse 21 says, “you… were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds.” Today I want to do something different. It is not a “what” or a “who” question, but a “why” question that I want us to think about.
In business, when we encounter a very difficult problem, where it is tough to get to the root and solve it, there’s a technique called “5 Whys” – where you continue to ask why, until you get to the root. The technique was originally developed by Sakichi Toyoda and was used within the Toyota Motor Corporation during the evolution of its manufacturing methodologies.
It works sort of like a 5-year-old asking “why, why, why, why, why.” Let’s do that today with the gospel in these verses from Colossians.
- Why is being alienated from God a problem? Because God is holy and blameless and cannot accept us as we are.
- Why is that hard to solve? Because we can’t “unalienate” ourselves from God.
- Why? Because we are constantly doing evil deeds (not to mention our thoughts or intentions behind even the good deeds we perform).
- Why? Because we are slaves to sin.
- Why? Because Adam sinned and passed along to all mankind the nature and proclivity to sin.
So, five layers down, that is the root of our problem. To solve it, someone would need to remove every sin separating us from God – not just up to today or the problem would instantly return and be just as bad as before. It must be removed for all time.
That is what Jesus Christ did for us. Look at verse 22 – (what?) he has now reconciled (how?) in his body of flesh by his death, (why?) in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him. Nothing and no one else go down the steps of our problem to the very root and changes us and fixes us. No other religion even dares offer a solution to us that will transform us and clean us in our entirety, inside and out, head to toe. They all require us to be an agent in fixing our problem.
It may sound believable to say, “You can look inside and believe in yourself and be better.” But it is outrageous to say, “You must look inside and believe in yourself to undo every mistake you’ve made, wrong thought you’ve entertained, and every hurtful action you’ve ever done.” Instead, we must look outside and believe in the perfect work of Jesus; he promises to present us holy and blameless and above reproach to God.