The Son is the image of the invisible God…
Colossians 1:15 is a mind bender, a seeming self canceling opening line to a mysterious poem about the Christ who is the seen unseeable. Colossians 1:15-23 is a key chunk of scripture, a compressed library of Christological one liners and theological H-Bombs that alter our perception of Jesus Christ and everything else about our otherwise typical existence. Creation testifies to His power by simply existing. Sunsets are purposefully breathtaking and ants are designed for surreal feats of organization and strength. The Church is His new creation, a collection of broken people with aching hearts and skewed realities yet covered in the healing fingerprints of the redeemer who knows each person by name. Each unique in personality, tastes, gifts, and dreams, these sisters and brothers are nonetheless united by the Son of Man.
People ask “where is God?” because they feel forgotten by the divine, shipwrecked by unmet expectations, disappointed in a powerful maker who forgot to do His job when it was their turn for good to happen. Where is God? God is invisible. Not absent, just invisible. Jesus is visible but seemingly absent. Where is our fellow earth walker who happens to be divine? Where is Jesus? A hurricane strikes and whole towns and families are destroyed. Someone gets a gun and makes a point by taking lives. The test results came back with the unthinkable. Where is Jesus? This is a very human question. We must remember, however, that we have just asked for the impossible: to see the invisible God.
The invisible God is seen in His creation. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of his hands (Psalm 19:1). The invisible God is seen in His church. Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you (2 Corinthians 13:11). The invisible God is seen in the cleansed hearts of His people. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).
Where is the unseeable God? The unseeable God is seeable Jesus, seen in creation, the church, and those who have been cleansed by Him. In other words, He’s seen in creation, the messy but united church, and you and me. We are the image bearers of the unseen God. Turns out He’s much closer and apparent than we thought! Someday we will see Him face to face, but until then, we hold tight onto the gospel. Who am I to demand to see the unseeable God?
If anything, God should demand that people see Jesus in us. It looks to be His intended design.