Colossians 1:15 says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (NASB). This is clearly speaking of the Lord Jesus, the Son of God. How do we know that? Because verse 14 reads, “In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” The One who paid our debt of sin by shedding His precious blood on Calvary, is also “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” Let’s take a good look at what is meant by this and may the Lord bless our meditation.

The word “image” means “manifestation” AND “representation.” Jesus Christ is called “the image of the invisible God” because He MANIFESTED GOD TO US! We can rightly say that “He made the invisible God visible” by walking on the earth and revealing God to men. In John 1:18 we read, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” He “declared Him” by allowing men to SEE what God’s nature is like. When men observed His moral attributes of love and holiness, they were SEEING GOD! And this is why Jesus could say in John 14:9, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.” In Hebrews 1:3 we have the same thought, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of His person.” All of God’s moral glory was shining out of the Lord Jesus because He is the EXACT IMAGE of who God is. But the word “image” also carries with it the thought of a REPRESENTATIVE. When God created Adam he was made in God’s LIKENESS, which means he was created to REPRESENT GOD and His interests here on earth, but he failed to do this. What Adam failed to do, Christ has done! He perfectly REPRESENTED GOD in everything He did and said.

The word “firstborn” has two different meanings. It is used literally to mean “one who is born first.” In Luke 2:7 we read of Mary giving birth to Christ, “And she brought forth her firstborn son.” Jesus was her FIRST CHILD so He is called “her firstborn son.” But it also used figuratively of one who has “a place of superiority.” In this sense it has nothing to do with “being born,” but of “having the first place.” A good example of this is in Exodus 4:22 which says, “Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even My firstborn.” This statement has nothing to do with Israel “being born” but everything to do with Israel “having the first place” among the nations. They were God’s chosen people and even though they weren’t the “first nation to come into being,” they were the “head of the nations” in God’s purposes. So, in our verse we are being taught that Christ has the “first place over all creation.”

It’s vital to see this, for those who deny that Jesus is God say that this verse is teaching that “Jesus was the first one that God created.” But we just saw when considering the first part of this verse that “He is the image of the invisible God” because HE IS GOD! And the very next verse declares, “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earthall things were created by Him and for Him.” So, He is NOT the “first created being,” He is the CREATOR! And because He is the CREATOR, He is “the firstborn of all creation.” This is the position He occupies over all creation. As believers we acknowledge this truth and give Him the praise, honor and glory that He deserves.  (193.3)  (DO)