Jesus the Reconciler

And [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:18–20, NIV)

Why does God put up with us? I ask this more by way of wonder than as an actual question… so again… why does God put up with us? It’s because of Jesus, of course — Jesus the Great Reconciler. He took the impossible-to-join — a holy God and sinful people — and joined them through his blood. But he also keeps us reconciled… which is good… because even God’s children wander away from him. This threatens our fellowship — which is serious business… but not our salvation.

Are there any other reconcilers? Not in heaven. But we are called to be reconciled one with another… and we should work to reconcile others, too. But no other being is quite like Jesus in this; he alone has the ability to reconcile us to the Father… because he alone has the authority (1 Timothy 2:5). We reconcile here on earth like we do everything else — imperfectly… although these attempts are still sweet-smelling savors to God.

Jesus, however, reconciles everything perfectly. He is God, after all. But the fact that he is the Son gives him specific rights in the process. First, as the Son, he can sit in the presence of the Father; this he must do to intercede for us. Second, he created us — and he knows our frame. He weighs our corruption against God’s perfection and presents himself for our lacks. Third, he is the Head of the Church. Jesus simply has authority over every Christian. We are his Body. Therefore, the Father looks upon us with perfect parity. Fourth, he is preeminent: Jesus is (by definition), the First, the Most and the Highest in heaven and on earth. Fifth, he has fullness. Whatever is needed in the enterprise of reconciliation, Jesus has it. Nothing is — nor can ever be — lacking.

It is critical to note that reconciliation changes the relationship between things… and not the things themselves. The reconciled objects remain as they are… just not mutually… although this mutual change is not a synthesis. Synthesizing changes the nature of its contributing entities… but reconciling changes none; it only changes the relationship between them — like when you reconcile your bank statement.

Our personal records and the bank’s records are two different things... but they need to agree… so every month we compare the two. Occasionally there are discrepancies. If you want to reconcile the accounts quickly (rather than chasing down the fault), you may post a corrective amount to your personal record. This does not fix your record… there is still an error back there somewhere… but it fixes the relationship between your record and the bank’s record… which is just what Jesus does with the First National Bank of God.

Please understand that Jesus does not fix us. He does, however, reconcile our ledger… although he doesn’t do so by finding and correcting our sins. Instead, he posts a corrective amount in our books… it’s just that it’s written with blood… and it’s all over our pages… and when God opens those books, that’s all he sees.

Once we understand that our reconciliation to God has nothing to do with what we bring to the table, then we can understand the new-creaturehood correctly (2 Corinthians 5:17). Because unlike reconciliation — which does not change us — becoming children of God profoundly changes us (John 1:12). It’s just that the “new man” cannot show up until the “old man” reconciles with God… and that is some bloody business.

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