Jesus Christ and Creation
John and others have taught us that God must be understood through Jesus Christ—if you've seen and known me you see and know the Father, Jesus taught us (John 14); and if we've come to know Jesus we've come to know the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of God's Son as well as the Spirit of God (Galatians 4:6).
When we think of knowing God by looking at Jesus I would suppose that we automatically think of God's character and the kind of heart he has; no bad thing that. But I think we need we should spare a thought for God's purposes. His purposes reflect his character too, don't you know, but Jesus came to accomplish things in his Father's name and as his Father's servant and when we see Jesus we see the one in whom the purposes of God are focused.
Colossians 1:15-17 makes us think of Genesis 1:26-28. The echo of the "image of God" and then the notion of dominion and power in which Jesus is said to be preeminent and the one in whom all things hold together. Colossians 1 echoes Genesis 1 but it takes us light years beyond it. Three distinct prepositions tell us how and why the creation came to be. It came to be "through" him as the agent of creation (1 Corinthians 8:6). As surely as election and redemption is "in" Jesus so also was the world created "in" him (see Ephesians 1:4). He is the conceptual sphere within which God worked to create; creation was created in light of Jesus, with Jesus as its driving thought and inspiration. And the creation was created for (or "unto") him—he was creation's goal. In the glorious and immortal Jesus, the Son of God and the last Adam the creation found its completion. What went before was real and wonderful but it was all moving toward him. This God purposed in creation before the human family rebelled and our rebellion did not change his mind. The redeeming life and person of Jesus Christ completes the two tasks—he sets the world right in redemption and brings it to its purposed climax with him as its glorified Lord.
The Incarnation, redeeming life, death, resurrection and exaltation confirm God's eternal creation purposes by bringing about redemption and reconciliation. The creation is not destined for destruction in "the great fire"—it was created for Jesus.
This has ramifications for how we look at, work with and relate to the creation.