Colossians 1:20

“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him [Jesus] to reconcile all things to Himself [God the Father], by Him [Jesus], whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” Colossians 1:18-20.

While we are concerned only with verse 20 above, the entire passage has been included for context. Verse 20 is shown again below to help you see what the following is about.

“…and by Him [Jesus] to reconcile all things to Himself [God the Father], by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” Colossians 1:20.

When Jesus died on the cross there were no men in heaven because the way had not been opened for them to enter there by His death.

These men, all mankind, women, children and men, all of the godly resided in Paradise under the earth (see Lazarus and the rich man Luke 16:19-31) until Christ redeemed them through His death on the cross.

See Lazarus and the rich man, Luke 16:19-31, part of which is quoted below.

“So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom [paradise]. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame’” Luke 16:22-24.

Abraham’s reply to this was that Hades and paradise were separated by a great gulf.

“… besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.” Luke 16:26.

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40.

“Therefore He says: ‘When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive [took those in Paradise to heaven], and gave gifts to men.’ (Now this, ‘He ascended’ – what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)” Ephesians 4:8-10.

If there were no men in heaven before the cross, what does God mean when He says that Christ reconciled all things to Himself, whether on earth or things in heaven?

And what is the meaning of the phrase, “…having made peace through the blood of His cross”; reconciled with whom, peace with whom?

You must bear in mind that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross does not save angels; they made their decision eons ago, either to follow God or to rebel with Satan.

“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” Hebrews 2:14-18.

When Satan first rebelled long before man was created he said five, I wills in his heart.

“I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:13-14.

Obviously these were not positions that he held before he began to covet them; notice that he said that he would be like the Most High. That is because he could not imagine anything higher than God Almighty, yet he thought that he could be like Him.

Jesus said of this evil rebellious person.

“You [Pharisees and unbelieving Jews] are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” John 8:44.

And speaking of Satan in a figurative way Jesus calls him a thief.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” John 10:10a.

When the Lord calls Satan a murderer from the beginning; He may have meant it in one of two ways, the most likely of which is that he murdered the entire angelic host who followed him in rebellion against God.

Having gotten them to follow Him it doomed them all to fall and have their eternal destinies irredeemably fixed for the lake of fire in which they will be cast into on Judgment Day.

Satan must surely be called a murderer because he enticed Adam and Eve to sin, dooming all of mankind to the lake of fire on that day.

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…” Romans 5:12.

Satan is also called a liar and the father of it. He certainly must have been to foment a rebellion within the angelic host. And this would be the greatest of lies; surely he went behind God’s back and questioned His integrity, saying, as he did to Eve.

“Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Genesis 3:1b, King James Version.

Yea hath God said that He is the only creator and sustainer of all things, He alone? Surely He is holding something back from us (angels). I will make things even more glorious than they are now and we will all share His glory.

God’s reputation had been soiled by Satan’s villainy and while the good angels did not need to have anything proven to them, the fallen ones fell because of the lie of whatever sort it was, and this needed to be corrected.

Man had also fallen for the lie of the devil, having actually chosen to follow him instead of the Creator from that day forward.

It was not just man that fell at that moment and death came into the world, but all creation was ruined and put under a curse. This too needed to be corrected because it further called God’s integrity into question.

The life of Christ as a man in full obedience to the Father has shown just how glorious and selfless God is, both in giving His Son and in the Son’s dwelling among us knowing all the things that were about to come upon Him.

He is the only man to live a sinless life fitting Him to be the only perfect sacrifice to expunge the sin of man. It is here at the cross by the shedding of the blood of God the Son, that both men and angels can see the glory and selfless love of God.

This is proof that the love of God would cause Him to act only in the best interests of both angels and men.

“For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You!” Psalm 84:10-12.

Knowing these things, can you believe them in your heart? Everything is going to come to light on Judgment Day.

God has reconciled all things to Himself by Christ. The angels who remained true to God have seen with their eyes what they should have known in their hearts. The love of God really does surpass understanding.

One expositor has said that it is possible that any rift between man and angels due to man’s rebellion against God has been reconciled by the blood of Christ.

How can angels judge what God has given His Son for. Nor can Satan bring an accusation against the Christian; it is Christ who died for them.

“Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” Romans 8:33-34.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1.

It is because of the blood of His cross that we can take hold of the promise fulfilled in Jesus Christ our Lord.

“…that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him…” Ephesians 1:10.

Colossians 1:20 taken from posted on 12-11-13, updated on 2-26-20.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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