Having reminded the Colossians in previous chapters of the current benefits of their union with Jesus, Paul leads them in Colossians 3:1-4 to look ahead to what will happen to them in the future because of their union with the Saviour. They will appear with him in glory. Glory is both a description of the location and the state of their future existence. Here are some suggestions as to what it will mean to be there then and what our response should be now.
‘To appear with Christ in glory’ is a reminder of our eternal company. The One we will all be with is Jesus, and because each believer is united to him they will all be with one another.
‘To appear with Christ in glory’ is a reminder of our eternal dignity. In this world, Jesus humbled himself in order to be with us; in the eternal world, he will exalt us in order to be with him. While never rising as high as Jesus, we will share with him in the benefits of his status as the heir of all things.
‘To appear with Christ in glory’ is a reminder of our endless consolation. No matter what happens to us in this life, our destiny is to be with him. Nothing can prevent it taking place; nothing can separate his people from being with him for ever. His eternal presence will make up for the disappointments of time.
‘To appear with Christ in glory’ is a reminder of our earthly priority. While we cannot in this life attain to perfection, it is our duty and it should be our goal to be as like him as possible. This takes us back to what our strategy should be. In a sentence, our aim should be to get as much out of heaven now before we go there to enjoy its fullness. We should aim to please Jesus all the time.
‘To appear with Christ in glory’ is a reminder of the centrality of Christ. One’s goal defines one’s present behaviour. Since the centrality of Jesus is our goal, Jesus must be our focus now.