The Headship of our Lord Jesus Christ may be divided into two principal facets. First, He is Head over all principality and power (Col.2:10), and second He is Head to the assembly, His Body.
As Head over all, He will reconcile all things to the Godhead. That work of reconciliation, when all things on earth and in heaven are reconciled and peace is seen, is not yet accomplished. However, it is in the counsels of God to do so through the perfect work of our Lord Jesus at Calvary and by virtue of His shed blood. When our Lord takes up His reign, heaven and earth will be freed from the power of evil, because the Prince of Peace will rule and the presence of evil will be immediately banished.
As Head to the assembly that reconciliation has been effected already. The sins of every believer are blotted out and all the claims of a holy God are satisfied. Hence we are presented before God holy and unblameable, with nothing to hinder our approach to God. We stand in the good of all the love and favour of being united to Christ in glory. In a word, we are reconciled to God.
In order to rightly appreciate the truth of Christ as Head, it is essential that He be known not only as Saviour but as Lord. In general, before we can enter into the knowledge and blessedness of the privileges of our Lord Jesus as Head, we must first know Him as Lord, be subject to Him, follow His commandments, and know Him as the administrator of God’s blessing.
Lordship is usually associated with individual responsibility while Headship implies collective privilege. In the House of God, the idea of occupation and ownership is present. In addition, we have individual stones built into the House, yet each stone remains identifiable and separate one from another and carries its own distinctive character and features. In the Body, the emphasis is on the Head and the dependence of the members of the body on the supplies that the Head provides. It moves only as directed and controlled by the Head.
The characteristics of Headship are summarized as:
These characteristics are seen in the epistle to the Colossians. The apostle seeks to bring the saints into the truth of having a Head in heaven. This Head, glorious and superior in every aspect, is presented to us to gain an apprehension of His service to, and control of, the Body. His greatness as Head will guide our walk. (Col. 1:9 -11)
In relation to each of these features of our Head, we find, not surprisingly, that the Cross has seen the overthrow of the former condition and now has brought to light the superiority of the new.
Firstly, in direction, the Head has overthrown all human tradition. In Col. 2:14, the legal ordinances were blotted out by being nailed to the cross. Therefore, in Christ, that legal system or shadow has been replaced.
So far as control is concerned, the philosophy of man and our self will is defeated in "the putting off of the body of the flesh in the circumcision of the Christ" (Col.2:11). This is effected as we hold fast the Head.
Finally our nourishment is no longer provided by the things of this world which were "spoiled at the cross" (Col.2:15), but is now supplied to the body by the Head ministering to and uniting together by joints and bands.
In order to rightly appreciate our Head, we must realize the truth that we are dead, buried, and risen with Him; united thus through the new man to our Head in heaven, but still on earth. This is an important contrast to Ephesians, where we are seated in heavenly places, and given life because we were dead in trespasses and sins. In this development of truth, we realize our power to live here in this world to the praise and glory of God, because we are united to our glorious and all-powerful Head.