1. He reconciled all things (verses
2. He reconciled believers (verses
Each Sunday morning for
the past five weeks, we have been walking through the book of Colossians. We have seen
how Paul heard of the plight of the church in Colossae through his dear friend,
Epaphras, who had first preached the gospel to them (Col. 1:7). They had believed in
Christ and had begun to grow in their faith (Col. 1:6), but were facing some
difficulties. They were being bombarded on all sides with false views of Jesus and
thus, false views of the salvation that He has provided for those who believe. Rather
than going into all of the detail concerning each of the heresies that were facing the
early church, Paul’s strategy was quite simple. He simply wanted to present
before the Colossians a correct view and understanding of who Jesus is and what Jesus
has done. For, when you truly grasp these things, your faith will be able to stand firm
against even the strongest of opposition.
Let's look at our text in the fullness of its context.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and
invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have
been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things
hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the
firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in
everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in
Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through
the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in
heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil
deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to
present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach--if indeed you continue
in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of
the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven,
and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.
Last week, we looked at verses 15-18, which describe who Jesus is. These words were
like ocean waves coming upon the shore. Wave upon wave comes in. Before we can fully
comprehend what he just said, another description comes crashing down upon us. He is
the image of the invisible God (verse 15). That is, He is God, Himself. He is the
firstborn of all creation (verse 15). That is, He is the highest of all being ever to
walk the planet. He is the creator (verse 16), who created all things in heaven and on
earth. He is the purpose for which all things were created. “All things have been
created for Him” (verse 16). He is the origin of the universe: He is before
all things (verse 17). He is the sustainer of the world: in Him all things hold
together (verse 17). He is the head of the church (according to verse 18). We take our
marching orders from Him. He is the firstborn from the dead (verse 18): the
greatest of all who were (or will be) resurrected.
All of these things are summed up nicely in verse 19, where we are told that “all
the fullness [dwells] in Him.” The best way to understand this statement is to
look over in chapter 2, verse 9, which is more specific about the meaning of this
fullness. Paul writes, “in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily
form.” In other words, the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus. The
incarnation doesn't take away deity. That’s why He is the image of the invisible
God. That’s why He is the firstborn of all creation. That’s why He is the
creator of the world. That’s why He is the purpose for the creation. That’s
why He is the origin of the universe. That’s why He is the sustainer of the
world. That’s why He is the head of the church. That’s why He is the
firstborn from the dead. ... because Jesus Christ is fully God!
One of the primary ways in which the heretical teachers in Colossae were attacking
Jesus is that they were ascribing less than full deity to Him. Oh, certainly, they
acknowledged something of His divinity. But, it fell short of His full divinity and
sovereignty and sufficiency for all things. If ever you come to believe that Jesus is
something less than “the fullness of Deity [dwelling] in bodily form,” then
you will also come to believe that He isn’t fully sufficient for you. You will
need something else. You will seek other avenues of salvation in an effort the
supplement the lack in Jesus.
Ultimately, this was the foundational source of the errors that were creeping into the
church in Colossae. They were seeking other avenues of salvation to complement what
Jesus had done. This is why they focused upon an extra-special wisdom of the Gnostics.
This is why they made efforts toward physical perfection through severe treatment of
the body. This is why they turned their attention upon the worship of angels and upon
the seeking of experience. It’s because they believed that Christ Jesus
wasn’t fully sufficient for them. It all can be traced back to their failure to
believe the full truth about Jesus.
But, Christ is fully sufficient for us. In chapter 2, verse 10, just after Paul
explained clearly how fully God Jesus was, he said, “In Him you have been made
complete.” The fullness of Deity dwells in Jesus. And Jesus has fully
accomplished our salvation. Just as you cannot add anything to Jesus to make Him more
glorious and excellent and exalted, so also is it impossible for you to add anything to
your salvation in Christ. You are complete in Him.
Last week, the title of my message was a question: “Who Is Jesus?” In
that message, I attempted to present Jesus in all His glory. This week, my title is
once again in the form of a question: “What Has Jesus Done?” It is my
aim to present His work in all its fullness. Such is the theme of verses 19-23. These
verses describe the work of Jesus Christ. His work comes down to one word:
reconciliation. It’s the bringing together of two parties. You can see it in
verse 20, where we read that it is through Jesus Christ that all things are reconciled
to God. You can also see it in verse 22, where we read of how believers in Christ were
reconciled to God. This is the main work of Jesus.
God loves to see reconciliation. This is the main point of verse 19, “It
was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in [Christ] and to
reconcile all things to Himself.” The main verb in this sentence focuses our
attention upon the pleasure of God in reconciliation.
It pleased Him to have the fullness of Deity dwell in Jesus, so that He might be the
reconciler of the world. 
When we are reconciled
to God, it puts a smile on His face. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked
(Ezek. 33:11). But, He is delighted when we are reconciled to Him. “It was the
Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in [Christ] and to reconcile
all things to Himself.”
Consider the story of the prodigal son (one of the most famous stories in the entire
Bible). I trust that you remember the story that Jesus told. A man had two sons (Luke
15:11). The youngest of these sons came to his father and asked him for his share of
the inheritance (Luke 15:12). Incredibly, the father granted his request (Luke 15:12).
Soon afterwards, this son packed up all his belongings and traveled to a distant
country, where he squandered his inheritance with sinful living (Luke 15:13). When he
had spent everything, he ran into difficult times, and began to work by feeding swine,
which would have been an utterly detestible work (Luke 15:14-16). Finally, he came to
his senses and realized that his father’s servants were better off than he was
(Luke 15:17). And so, he decided to return home to see his father, and tell him that he
had sinned, that he was no longer worthy to be called his son, and that he wants to be
as one of his hired men (Luke 15:18-19). When the son returned, the father happened to
see him coming from a long way off (Luke 15:20). The father ran out to greet him with
love and affection (Luke 15:20). He embraced his son and kissed him (Luke 15:20). When
the son confessed his sin and his desire to be considered as a hired hand, the father
would have nothing of it (Luke 15:21). Rather, the father brought out his best robe and
a ring and sandals for him (Luke 15:22). The father called for a feast to eat and
celebrate the return of his lost son, who was dead, but had begun to live (Luke
There are certainly many lessons to learn from the story. But, I would like for you to
consider this morning the disposition of the father. When the
son returned home, we see no hint of the father scolding him for his sinful living or
for his wastefulness, or for his stubbornness or for his slothfulness or how he
squandered all of what he had worked so hard to gain. Rather, this father demonstrated
to him nothing but love. He clothed him with honor. He threw a party for him. He
called all of his household (and servants) to celebrate his return. You clearly get a
sense at his joy and how pleased he was that his son returned. When the older son
complained at the royal treatment that his younger son was receiving, the father simply
explained, “Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is
yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead
and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found” (Luke 15:3-32).
This is such a great picture of God’s perspective when a sinner repents of his
sin and follows Christ. In no way is God a reluctant Savior. He doesn’t receive
repentant sinners out of a sense of His duty. The Lord rejoices in the salvation of
others. It gives him much joy and satisfaction and delight. This is clear in our text
this morning. Look at verse 19, “It was the Father’s good pleasure for all
the fullness to dwell in [Christ] and to reconcile all things to Himself.” God
delights in the work that Jesus did. God delights in the work of
Paul gives us two views of the reconciling work of Christ. Verses 19-20 describe His
work in general, which you might call "the big picture." Verses 21-23 describe His work
in particular, i.e. what He does in the lives of believers. These two views will form
the basis of my two points this morning. Let’s look at our first point this
morning: What has Jesus done?
1. He reconciled all
things (verses 19-20)
Look again at verses 19-20 together. "For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the
fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having
made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth
or things in heaven."
We have already looked at verse 19, as it has transitioned us from who Jesus is to what
Jesus has done. It has given us a divine perspective of salvation. Verse 20
is one of the more difficult verses in all of the Bible to interpret. The difficulty
comes in the amazing scope of what Paul puts forth. He wrote that “It was the
Father’s good pleasure ... to reconcile all things to Himself” (vv. 19-20).
There are some who take verse 20 as a Biblical proof for universalism: the belief
that all will be saved someday, enjoying the presence of the father. When you look at
the verse, you might easily conclude this. And yet, we clearly know from the analogy of
Scripture that all will not be saved. The number of verses that talk about the
punishment in hell for the wicked are far too numerous for us to begin to neglect.
Jesus often speaks of the outer darkness (Matt. 8:12), where there will be weeping and
gnashing of teeth (Matt8:12; 13:42, 50; 25:30). Jesus speaks about the eternal fire
where people will endure eternal punishment (Matt. 25:41, 49) in a hot, agonizing flame
(Luke 16:24). Paul even speaks about the wrath that will come upon the sons of
disobedience (Eph. 2:1-3). And so, this verse cannot mean that all will someday be in
There are two ways in which we can go about understanding this verse. You can either
limit the scope of “all things” to include only the redeemed, who are
ultimately reconciled with God. (There are many times in the Scriptures when
all-inclusive language is limited by the context.) Or, you can seek to adjust
your initial understanding of “reconciliation.”
The first option is not possible, as there is absolutely no reason in the context to
limit the scope of “all things.” In the previous verses, the phrase,
“all things” was used no less than five times. Each time, it has reference
to everything that has ever been created. In verse 16, we see it used twice: “by
Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created
through Him and for Him.” In verse 17, again it is used twice: “He is
before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” In verse 18, we see that
“He Himself will come to have first place in everything.” And even in verse
20, Paul seemingly expands the scope of the reconciliation to include more than merely
the redeemed. He says, “through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in
heaven” (verse 20).
And so, when you are talking about all things being reconciled to God, Paul is talking
about everything created. He’s talking about the physical creation: the
stars and moon and planets and mud and plants and flowers. He’s talking about the
spiritual beings: the holy angels and the fallen angels. He’s talking about
human beings. He’s talking about everything and everyone who has ever been
created. And so, to understand this verse in light of the abundance of testimony of the
context of these words, we cannot limit the scope of “all things.” Rather,
we must seek to understand what Paul is talking about when he says that all things were
In the fall of man, the entire creation became estranged from God. Since the sin of
Adam, all of creation has come under a curse! Perhaps you remember the curses that the
Lord pronounced shortly after Adam sinned. He cursed an animal - placing the serpent on
his belly for the rest of his days. He cursed Satan, himself, saying that there would
be constant enmity between his seed and the see of the woman. He cursed the woman,
multiplying pain in childbirth, and giving her a desire to usurp her husband’s
role in the family. He cursed the ground, causing it grow thorns and thistles, forcing
the man to toil and labor to survive. Because of Adam’s sin, “all
things” have come under the curse of almighty God. The creation is not as how God
originally created it. Sin has damaged it.
How easy is it for us to think that people are the only ones affected by the fall. But,
the fall is felt in the angelic/demonic world. It is felt among the animal
kingdom. Charles Darwin got is partially right when he said that it is "survival
of the fittest." There is certainly no mercy in the animal kingdom. The ground
shows forth evidence of the fall. If you ever seek to plant a garden, you will come to
know this. Everyone who has ever lives has felt it. Wars and conflicts and troubles
with others has been constant throughout the entire history of the world. In Romans 8,
Paul spoke a bit about how the sin of Adam affected the entire creation. He said,
For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons
of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him
who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its
slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we
know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together
Though the earth is under the curse now, there will be a day when the creation
“will be set free from its slavery to corruption” (Rom. 8:21). That is the
day of the “revealing of the sons of men” (Rom. 8:19). When the Lord
returns, the entire creation will rejoice as it is finally reconciled to the Father.
Consider the following passage of Scripture:
Let the sea roar and all it contains, the world and those who dwell
Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for
Before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the
He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with
Seas and rivers and mountains will all rejoice, when the LORD
comes to set the created world in
order. It’s how great the fall was! It affected all of creation. And all of
creation needs reconciliation. At Christmas time, we often sing the hymn of Isaac
Watts (which is an adaptation of Psalm 98) that expresses this nicely.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.
The curse has extended from people to plants, from angels to animals, from demons to
deserts. There will be a day when God will bring the world in full subjection under His
feet. And when He does, he will reverse the curse. “Nation will not lift up sword
against nation, and never again will they learn war” (Is. 2:4). “The wolf
will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat” (Is.
11:6). “The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra” (Is.
11:8). God will be friends with all of His creation once again, just as He
created the earth to be.
All of this peace comes about through the suffering of Christ on the cross. Look again
carefully at chapter 1, verse 20. We read that the Father reconciled “all things
to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” In recent weeks, I
have been speaking with you about how significant and important the cross of Christ is.
When we come to faith in Christ, we see the cross from a distance, and it appears
small. But, as we come to understand it a bit more and more, we see just how much Jesus
accomplished through it. It was through the cross that the Father was able “to
reconcile all things to Himself” (verse 20). That’s what Jesus has
done. He has reconciled all things (verses 19-20). Let’s look now at
our second point.
2. He reconciled believers
This is more familiar territory for us. We are used to thinking about Jesus reconciling
believers. Paul writes to those in Colossae, ...
And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind,
engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through
death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach--if
indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away
from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation
under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.
In these verses, Paul reminded those in Colossae just what they were like before
Epaphras came to them. He tells them of three things that were true of them. They were
alienated from God. They were hostile in mind toward God. They were engaged in evil
deeds. The idea here is one of a non-existent, non-desired relationship. God was in one
corner. The Colossians were in another corner. They wanted nothing to do with God. All
they wanted to do was to put on their boxing gloves and come out swinging against God.
They were stranded and didn’t seek help. You have all seen the picture of the
shipwrecked man sitting upon a single mound of sand with a single palm tree in the
middle of it. The guy on the island is in a desperate situation. But, when the time
came that a ship was spotted, they could tell from the flag flying that it was an enemy
ship. Rather than firing off his safety flare, he cursed the enemies and let them drive
right on by, preferring to die, rather than seeking help from the enemy. These
Colossians were absolutely opposed to the one attempting to help them. Like an dog with
a broken leg, they snarled and growled at those who attempted to help them. This is
what the Colossians were like before Epaphras came and brought to them the gospel of
the grace of God.
Lest you think that this has no application to us at all, please know that every single
one of us present this morning have been in this situation. This is the situation of
everyone who has ever lived. When Adam sinned, humanity was plunged into the depths of
despair. When the LORD
banished Adam and Eve from the garden, we went
with them, away from the presence of the LORD
. As subsequent generations
proved, it was by mutual agreement. Things were so bad in the early history of the
world that when the LORD
looked down upon the sons of men, He “saw that the wickedness of man was
great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil
continually” (Gen. 6:5). It’s why God destroyed the world in a flood. But,
the flood didn’t changed the human heart. We are still desperately wicked today.
Apart from Christ, we are all alienated from God, hostile in mind toward God, and
engaged in evil deeds. But then, the good news comes in verse 22.
Have you ever had someone come up to you and ask, “I have good news and bad news.
Which do you want first?” I bet that Paul would say, “Give me the bad news
first.” Paul often gives us the bad news first. Because, in so doing, it makes
the good news so much better. And here’s the good news, “yet He has now
reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him
holy and blameless and beyond reproach” (verse 22).
You can see the contrast with the very first word, “Yet.” We were estranged
from God. But, God reconciled us to Himself. It was at great cost. It took the death of
His Son. Perhaps you remember William Shakespeare’s play, “Romeo and
Juliet.” Romeo was a Montague. Juliet was a Capulet. Lord Montague and Lord
Capulet had been feuding for years, which caused their entire families to be hostile to
one another. And then, their children, Romeo and Juliet, fell in love. They tried to
make it work with their feuding families, but experienced great difficulties at every
turn. Through a complex series of events, the story ends with the death of both the
young lovers. But, through the death of the two children, the feuding families are
finally reconciled to each other. But, it took a death to reconcile them. To be sure,
the circumstances surrounding the reconciliation of the Montagues and Capulets are
different than the circumstances surrounding our reconciliation with God. Also,
the manner in which the reconciliation was achieved is different as well.
However, there is one
similarity: it took a death to reconcile the estranged families. It took the
magnitude of the death of children to reconcile the Montagues and Capulets. And to
reconcile us to the Father, it took nothing less than the death of God's Son. This is
the point of verse 22, “He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through
What has Jesus done? He has “reconciled you in His fleshly body.” He has
done this with a purpose. “In order to present you before Him holy and blameless
and beyond reproach” (verse 22). Here is the fullness of the good news. When you
believed in the death of Jesus, He wiped your sin away and cleared you of all
guilt, so that you can stand before God who is infinitely holy and dwells in
unapproachable light. It is only the death of Jesus that can make us holy -- without
any sin and stain. It is only the death of Jesus that can make us blameless -- without
any guilt. It is only the death of Jesus that can make us beyond reproach -- without
any accusation that can be held against us.
There will be a day when each of us will stand before God. The supreme court of all the
entire universe will stand session and judge us all. If you believe in the work of
Christ, you have no need to fear on that day. Oh, certainly, the gravity of the moment
will flutter your heart. But, the expectation of condemnation should be gone! Your fear
ought to be gone, not because you aren’t guilty of transgressing the Lord on
high. For, you were like the Colossian people, alienated, hostile and wicked. But
the glorious truth of the gospel is that His death made us "holy and blameless and
But, you need to know that there is a condition to standing before God without fear of
punishment: it is faith. This comes in verse 23, “if indeed you continue in
the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the
gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of
which I, Paul, was made a minister.” Notice what those in Colossae needed to do.
They needed to continue in their faith, “firmly established and steadfast.”
They needed to continue in their “hope” that they had heard from Epaphras.
Notice how they weren’t told to stand firm in their works. Notice how they
weren’t told to stand firm in their righteous acts. Notice how they weren’t
told to stand firm in their efforts to pray. Standing before God holy and blameless is
a matter of faith. "The righteous will live by faith" (Romans 1:17).
Now, think about the temptations that came upon those in Colossae. There were some who
were telling them that the key to Christianity is to pursue a special, super-spiritual
knowledge (Col. 2:2-4) or to follow the traditions of men (Col. 2:8). Others were
telling them to obey the legal requirements of the Old Testament sacrificial system
(Col. 2:16) or worship the angels (Col. 2:17) or seek visions (Col. 2:18). Still others
instructed them to keep away from certain things (Col. 2:21), to abstain from certain
foods (Col. 2:21), or to beat your body into submission to your will (Col. 2:23). But
Paul was telling them something far different. He told them to stand firm in their
faith. Believing that you are justified by faith alone in Christ is our only hope.
Knowledge or traditions or obedience or angelic worship or vision or abstinence or
diligence, won’t stand you before the Lord in that final day. It is only faith
that will find you justified in that day.
What is interesting about the things that were pulling the Colossian people away is
that much of it was religious. For the most part, they weren’t being pulled away
into idolatry or sensual sin or greed or any other sort of gross sin. Rather they were
being pulled into seeking “the higher life.” They were told to keep the
rituals appointed in the Old Testament. They were instructed to stay away from things
that appeared to defile. They were told that self-discipline was the key, or that a
special worship experience was what they needed to be spiritual. But, in so doing, they
were being pulled away from faith in Christ. They were being pulled away into believing
that it was Christ plus something that they needed. But, the Biblical gospel is by
grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, plus nothing. There is nothing that
you need to be righteous before God, other than faith in His Son to cleanse you and
make you pure and holy.
The exhortation comes directly to us at Rock Valley Bible Church. We need to hold
firmly to our conviction that faith alone will justify. If anyone comes along seeking
to pull us away from our hope in Christ, we must stand firm. There will be times when
standing firm is easy. You are surrounded by good influences. The things that you are
hearing will sound good. But, there are times when standing firm is more difficult.
Perhaps you heard a wind of doctrine that begins to float around the church that seeks
to dis-settle you from faith in Christ alone (Eph. 4:14). You may hear a new theory,
that sounds reasonable, and it captures your attention (Col. 2:4, 8). Some may hold up
a particular type of special experience as necessary for all (Col. 2:18). Someone
begins to elevate some ceremony as the key to living the fulfilled Christian life (Col.
2:16). It’s at those times that you need to stand firm on the truth of the
gospel, firmly established, steadfast, and not moved away.
When the wind of doctrine comes, don’t be moved away from your hope in Christ.
When the next new perspective of the Scripture comes, refuse to believe it, because you
already have the tried and true gospel of Christ. When others urge you to have the
special experience, tell them that you are already fully satisfied and complete in
Christ already (Col. 2:10). When some ceremony is exalted, let the call to believe in
the Christ tower far over it. J. C. Ryle said it far better than I ever could. He
said, "If you love life cling with a fast hold to the doctrine of justification
by faith. If you love inward peace, let your views of faith be very simple. Honour
every part of the Christian religion. Contend to the death for the necessity of
holiness. Use diligently and reverently every appointed means of grace: but
do not give to these things the office of JUSTIFYING your soul in the slightest degree.
If you would have peace, and keep peace, remember that faith alone justifies, and that
not as a meritorious work, but as the act that joins the soul to Christ.”
I wouldn’t be faithful to this text without one last word of warning: If you
don’t continue in the faith, you have no part in Christ. Let’s think about
the flow of verses 21-23. You were enemies with God (verse 21). He has reconciled you
in His fleshly body (verse 22), if indeed you continue in the faith (verse 23). This
verse isn’t talking about losing your salvation. It’s talking about what
reconciling faith is. It's defining for us what sort of faith it is that reconciles us
to God. Reconciling faith is firmly established faith. Saving faith is steadfast faith.
Anything else is an imposter.
There is a wind of doctrine that goes around the church today. This doctrine says that
faith is simply agreeing with some fact about Jesus. Once you say, "Yes, I believe."
You are fine. But, Paul says this: "When you endure in your faith, you will be fine."
This is the only type of faith that reconciles us to God. And so, I ask you, do you
have enduring faith?
This sermon was delivered to Rock Valley Bible Church on May 28, 2006 by Steve
For more information see www.rvbc.cc.
 At this point, it must be noted that some might
object to the statements concerning God's pleasure in these things, as a legitimate
alternate translation of these words exist. The English Standard Version reads, "For in
him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell" (verse 19). Some argue that it wasn't
the Father who was pleased to have the fullness of Deity dwell in Jesus. Rather,
it was the desire of the fullness that dwelt in Jesus. However, this is a very
difficult thing to embrace. For, how can "fullness" have emotions, such as being
pleased? At some point, the pleasing will return to the Father, who was pleased
for these things to take place. Thus, the interpretation presented
 When Christ died, He died as a substitute for sin.
That is, He took the place of sinners upon the cross. God punished Jesus in the place
of punishing those who believe in Him. The deaths of Romeo and Juliet brought about
reconciliation in a different way. Their deaths startled the Montagues and Capulets
into realizing how insignificant their feuding really was. In this sense, the actual
function of the deaths are different.
 J. C. Ryle, Old Paths,