"For in (Jesus) the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of the cross."
I remember hearing a teaching by Pastor Rob Bell (it may have been his NOOMA video series) about the idea of "reconciliation." In the ancient near east, when Rome ruled the Mediterranean, Caesar brought about "peace" (Pax Romana) by a process of what he called "reconciling" former enemies. He'd use the violent method of crucifixion to bring "reconciliation." It proved to be very effective in keeping the peace.
Paul, in his letter to the church in Colossae, turns that image upside down. God also brought peace and true reconciliation through crucifixion. But it wasn't the crucifixion of his enemies. No, it was himself! Jesus (God's Son - the representation of God in human form) was crucified. The blood of the cross brought healing, forgiveness, and restoration to all. Wow!
It's so hard to forgive deep hurts. Vengeance is so tempting. We, like Caesar, want those who've hurt us to suffer... to feel some of the pain they've caused us. Thank Goodness God doesn't act like that (or we'd be doomed!). No, God gives us an alternate vision. Because he's forgiven us of so much, we are challenged to extend the same grace to others: Peace. Healing. Forgiveness. Grace. RECONCILIATION! (Amen!)