John_Chrysostom“Having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (Colossians 1:20).

“Having made peace through the Blood of His Cross.”

The word “reconcile,” shows the enmity; the words “having made peace,” the war.

“Through the Blood of His Cross, through Himself, whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens.”

A great thing indeed it is to reconcile; but that this should be through Himself too, is a greater thing; and a greater still—how through Himself?

Through His Blood. Through His Blood; and he said not simply His Blood, but what is yet greater, through the Cross.

So that the marvels are five: He reconciled us; to God; through Himself; through Death; through the Cross.

Admirable again! How he has mixed them up! For, lest you should think that it is one thing merely, or that the Cross is anything of itself, he says “through Himself.”

How well he knows that this was a great thing. Because not by speaking words, but by giving Himself up for the reconciliation, He so wrought everything.

But what are “things in the heavens”?

For with reason indeed is it said, “the things upon the earth,” for those were filled with enmity, and manifoldly divided, and each one of us was utterly at variance with himself, and with the many.

But how did He make peace among “the things in the heavens”? Was war and battle there also?

How then do we pray, saying, “Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth”? (Matt. 6:10).

What is it then? The earth was divided from heaven, the Angels were become enemies to men, through seeing the Lord insulted.

“To sum up,” he says, “all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth” (Eph. 1:10).

How? He reconciled the things in heaven indeed in this way: He translated Man thither, He brought up to them the enemy, the hated one.

Not only did He make the things on earth to be at peace, but He brought up to those who were in heaven him that was their enemy and foe.

Here was peace profound. Angels again appeared on the earth thereafter, because that Man too had appeared in heaven.

And it seems to me that Paul was caught up on this account (2 Cor. 12:2), and to show that the Son also had been received up thither.

For in the earth indeed, the peace was twofold; with the things of heaven, and with themselves; but in heaven it was simple. For if the Angels rejoice over one sinner that repents, much more will they over so many.

John Chrysostom (c.347-407): Homilies on St Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians, 3.