The head is in many ways the most important part of the body. It is the center of thought and emotion, and unlike other visible body parts (such as the hand or arm) it is essential for life. Biblical writers thought of it as the life of the individual, the body part that symbolized a person’s entire being. In addition, it is the uppermost and most visible

feature of a person. For these reasons the head serves as a fitting image for the center of life and leadership.


The first biblical reference to the head comes in Genesis 3:15, where the curse on the serpent is that the woman’s offspring will crush his head. the contrast between the serpent’s bruising the heel of the woman’s child and that child crushing the serpent’s head pictures the difference between a wound and utter defeat. The Messiah will not conquer Satan as a slightly more powerful enemy; as a totally superior being he will completely destroy Satan.

Elsewhere, cutting off a person’s head is warfare is a symbol of victory (1 Sam 17:46; 31:8-10; 2 Sam 20:22). The head is particularly vulnerable in warfare, so images of God as a shield often mention his protection over the head: “O Lord Almighty, the strong one who saves me, you have covered my head in the day of battle” (Ps. 140:7; see also Isa 59:17; Eph 6:17). God’s protection in all of life’s battles is symbolized by a head covering.

The head is the focal point of the body, so that is where kings were anointed (Exod 29:7; 1 Sam 10:1). When God anoints his sheep with oil in Psalm 23:5, images of the king’s anointing come to mind. God is crowning his people with honor and blessing through the symbol of oil on the head. In addition, “Blessing cover the head of a righteous person” (Prov 10:6), just as blessings throughout the Old Testament were delivered with a hand over a person’s head (Gen 48:14).

Blessing can symbolically center on a person’s head, but so can sin and guilt. The priests put their put their hands on the head of the scapegoat to symbolize the transfer of the people’s sin onto the animal (Exod 29:10, 15; Lev 3:2). People’s sins return upon their own head (Obad 1:15 NIV). Similarly, shame and guilt are symbolized by covering one’s head with one’s hand or with ashes (Jer 14:3; Ezek 27:30-31). Uncovering of the head by shaving one’s hair was a symbol of mourning (Amos 8:10; Mic 1:16).



The head is the command center of the body, the symbolic representation of the person’s being as well as the leader of all the functions of the body.





Given the importance of the head to the entire body, it is fitting that Christ is pictured throughout the New Testament as the head of his church. God “has made Christ the head of everything for the good of the church” (Eph 1:22) and “as we lovingly speak the truth, we will grow up completely in our relationship to Christ, who is the head” (Eph 4:15). This relationship is to be portrayed in the earthly marriage relationship: “the husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. It is his body, and he is its Savior. As the church is under Christ’s authority, so wives are under their husbands’ authority in everything” (Eph 5:23-24). In the same way the tribes of Israel were led by “heads” or chief leaders throughout the Old Testament and husband were heads over their families, so now Christ is the head over the entire church. And the universal church is connected to him as vitally as a body is connected to its physical head. Without his leadership and continuous feeding of all we need, the church could not exist. He is our life source as well as our leader. Just as a body cannot choose to disconnect itself from a head, so we cannot disconnect ourselves from Christ, our head, without suffering spiritual death in the process.


Colossians 1:17-18: He existed before everything and holds everything together. He is also the head of the church, which is his body.


The Bible emphatically tells us that Christ is the Head. One day God will head up everything in the universe under Christ. Today the universe has not come under the leadership of Christ yet, and everything is in a state of confusion. . . . .The church is God’s means of enlarging Christ, and this enlargement will go on until he fills the entire universe. The church is “the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Eph 1:23). If the headship of Christ is not established in the church, it cannot be established in the universe.


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