He’s Number One
Read Colossians 1:18 (ESV)
...He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
What do you think Paul meant when he wrote that Jesus is the “firstborn from the dead?”
Our culture is obsessed with first place. During the Olympics this summer, the world watched to see who would surpass everyone else, rise to the top, and dominate the field in any given sport. Once an athlete wins a gold medal, they are celebrated and in some cases, idolized. Sometimes they are even described as “reigning gold medalists.” They rule the world of their sport.
But who really rules the world? Who is in first place over everything and everyone? In today’s verse, Paul says that it is Jesus Christ who is preeminent. He surpasses everyone else and He dominates all of His adversaries.
In fact, He even conquered death. Paul described him as “the first born from the dead.” We know that this can’t mean that He is truly the “firstborn” of creation. Yes, He became flesh and was born in Bethlehem but as we established earlier this week, He is eternal. He is not a created being. He has been one with God since before the beginning of time. John 1:1-2 confirms: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.”
So what does it mean that Jesus is “the firstborn from the dead”? Jesus was the first to conquer death by His own power. He is in first place when it comes to the resurrection. But He has offered us the victory as well, through Him.
1 Corinthians 15:20, 22-26 emphasizes this as well: “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep...For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at this coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death."
Friends, Jesus reigns supreme. He is in first place. All of His enemies will be destroyed, even death. And we are promised that those of us who belong to Him will conquer death, too. His resurrection is just the beginning. But given His preeminence, we have to ask ourselves. Is He in first place in our lives? Do we consider Him more important than anything else? Do we make our relationship with Him our ultimate priority and His Word our ultimate authority? I encourage you to take some time to pray about that and change some priorities. He is the beginning and He reigns. Our lives should reflect that.
Jesus, You reign. You are powerful enough to conquer the grave and gracious enough to promise me a resurrection as well! Show me areas of my life that I need to surrender to You and where I need to rearrange my priorities because You are first place in all things, including my life. Amen.