What does it really mean for Jesus to be at the centre of our lives – at the centre of who we are, the centre of our family, the centre of our work, the centre of our faith, the centre of our partnership in ministry with Him? So often, we say, “Lord, come and take your place. Lord, come and be the centre of my life.” Do we really know what that means? Often we think we do. We call upon Jesus to be the One we live for, that we would live with a focus on Him, that our lives would glorify Him. We sing about this in worship songs all the time. All this is indeed the fruit of Jesus being truly at the centre of our lives. But who is Jesus AS the centre of the all things? We don’t just place Jesus at the centre (though we DO make a choice to follow Him and give Him authority and glory in our lives); but He IS the centre!
When we think of the word “centre” in English, many images and ideas might flash across our minds. Whatever is central, generally stands as a place or image of interest, it is the focus point, the base, the most important thing. Centre-ville and central market for example, all convey a sense of being the place to go for particular needs. In centre-ville, you would find the largest display of a city’s culture, foods, arts and life. If you were going to go to a market, why not central market? The word “central” conveys a point of meeting, somewhere important where people who are looking for similar things come to find it. Imagine a wedding reception with tables beautifully set and draped, but no centrepiece. The room would not be the same. The single centrepiece on each table at a wedding reception adds greatly to the ambience of the room. It is a highlighted decoration on each table.
Our earth itself has a very important centre. You might remember the book “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”. The land we walk on is like paper compared to the mass and volume of what is beneath our feet – a hard, super-heated and pressured core of iron is surrounded by another, outer liquid core. It is the movement of this liquid, outer core, over the solid, inner core that produces earth’s geomagnetic fields. It is from this magnetic activity that we get our “North Pole” and “South Pole”. The interaction of solar wind (the sun’s magnetic field and particles) with earth’s own magnetic field creates the beautiful light spectacle known as “the aurora”, our free Northern and Southern light show. The concept of something being “at the centre” is both subtly and conspicuously prominent in our society. So, what/who is at the centre of our being?
Jesus is the core of humanity.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” [John 1:1-5]
In the beginning, before our comprehension of time’s beginning, the Word was with God. Jesus, the living Word, was with the Father before all things. He was there when light was created, He was there when the waters covered the earth, He was there when Adam was created. Jesus was there, not just as a bystander, but as life and as the light of the earth. He was creating the earth to reflect God’s beauty alongside the Father and the Spirit. He created us in His image, in the image of the Father. This is the same Jesus who will come at the end of the age and be seen by all. He declares that He is the Alpha and Omega [Revelation 1:8], and the 24 elders around the throne proclaim that He is worthy to receive all glory and honour and praise. They proclaim that He is the one who created all things, who created them by His own will, and who have their being through Him.
Jesus is the core of humanity because all mankind was created by Him and are made in His image. The emotions and senses we experience are just a taste of the vast glory of God’s character. In our mortal bodies we can only comprehend these things in part, but one day, when we are raised up with Christ, we will see and experience in full! The lyrics of Karyn Williams’ song “Hey There” seem to capture this truth. Jesus is fully man, fully God and we are fully made in Him.
Does your heart knows the reason that it’s beating
do you realize the purpose and the meaning
And that the one who holds it all, gave it all away
just for you
You were made in the image of the Father
perfect love and there will never be another
And He’ll reach his arms as far and wide
as you need Him to
He knows, right where you are,
and what you’re going thru
He knows , everything you feel ,
because He felt it too
Rejected by the world , but chosen by the one
you are the child that He adores
and so much more
What does it mean that life is in Christ? The answer lies in the cross. Because of sin, we were separated from God, unable to stand before Him and share in relationship with Him. Because of His perfect love, God sent His Son Jesus, in human form, down to earth. Jesus became the pure and blameless lamb, the holy one, and only one who could possibly atone for all the sins of the world. He carries within Himself the promise of life because through Him, we can enter the kingdom of heaven where there will be no thirst, no hunger, no sickness and no death. We are fully satisfied and fully alive in Christ [Colossians 2:10]. He carries the promise of light because in Him, there is no darkness and all things are known. He shines in the darkness of the world, the darkness of death in this earth; but He has overcome death and defeated the grave. In Him, we are given the Spirit, who enlightens our eyes to see the riches of our glorious, holy and pure inheritance in the Kingdom of Light, provided through the cleansing grace of Christ [Colossians 1:12-14, Ephesians 1:17-18].
Jesus is the cornerstone and centrepiece of the church.
On my last trip around the country of France, I met people of so many different personalities, placed in places with different ministry opportunities, all serving the Lord as one, yet working in such a variety of giftings and annointing. The image of Christ as the foundational cornerstone and captivating centrepiece of the church is now much clearer to me. Truly, no-one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ [1 Corinthians 3:11]. He is before all things and in Him, all things hold together [Colossians 1:17]. He directs each one of us according to His good and perfect plans – some are teachers, some are prophets, some are sent to the poor, others into the marketplace, there are prayer teams, home-makers, adventurers and peace-makers. We are all called to be disciples, and we are all called to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth. However, the way in which we build up the kingdom with Christ varies widely. Yet, though we may all be assigned a different role to play in this harvest, we are all joined together in Christ. “In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” [Ephesians 2:21-22]
Jesus is the cornerstone of the church because it is by his blood that all are joined as one, washed clean and made worthy to be be calleFoundational Pyramid of Missiond God’s holy people, and the bFoundational Pyramid of Missionride of Christ. “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” [Revelation 21:2-3]
Jesus is the centrepiece of the church because he is the one who captivates the church, and who is seen through the testimony of the church. All things are created for His glory, and to Him be glory in the church [Romans 11:36, Ephesians 3:21]. The church is a lampstand for the light of Christ to shine in this word.
May we live lives that continuously point to Jesus, lives filled with the knowledge of God’s will through the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. May God give us grace to live a life worthy of Him and pleasing to Him in every way, that we might bear fruit in our working, growing in the knowledge of God and in the likeness of Christ who is at our centre. [Colossians 1:9-11]