Our Heavenly Hope: A Meditation from Colossians
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4)
This section begins with an assumption, and asks us to examine this assumption – that we have been raised jointly with Jesus Christ. Now, if we examine this and find that it is indeed true – that we have been partakers of the resurrected life, and have a change of interests and a spiritual nature – then two exhortations flow from it.
First, we are exhorted that we would seek those things above (since, as we were raised with Christ, we would naturally follow Him, and we now find Him ABOVE); second, that we would mind such things.
Now, the meaning of these commands is, first, that the whole aim and direction of our lives would be toward these spiritual and heavenly things; and then, undistracted by the petty cares of this world, we would rest our minds in peace on the Holy Scriptures. For why would we grovel in the dust of these earthly matters, when the heights of the heavens themselves are opened to us?
The apostle backs up his words with a logical reason: that we died – our earthly affections have perished – and our life is now bound up entirely with Jesus Christ, so that our own affairs are intimately linked to His. Our lives are so connected with Jesus Christ that Paul can call Christ ‘our life.’
To further exhort us to mind spiritual things, we see that the manifestation of Jesus will also result in us appearing in a spectacle of glory – one which is as glorious and sublime as those spiritual things which we presently seek. Such glory is the natural place for us to set our minds.
And what reason is there to not set our hope on this heavenly land? For as Matthew Henry says, “Our head is there, our home is there, our treasure is there, and we hope to be there forever.”