Saturday, July 31, 2010

Christ, the Firstborn of All Creation

Tomorrow morning (if the Lord allows) I will be leading the breaking of the bread service at my church. Traditionally one of the Brothers will stand to describe an aspect of Christ and then the Brethren will discuss it.

Here are the notes I've prepared for tomorrow. Perhaps they will be of some value here.

Christ, the Firstborn of all creation.

Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

Which is much like as the end of the Eph 1. The exaltation of Christ, the recognition of His preeminence which is to say His superiority over everything.

But Paul’s presentation of Christ’s preeminence is how it is effective for our redemption and our confidence in the fact of it, again this is stated in Rev 1 where it is Christ’s preeminence and faithfulness that establishes the reality of our redemption.

The term Firstborn relates to us in the nature of value. Traditionally, the firstborn son has a special place in a family throughout history. When Israel was captive in Egypt God described the value of Israel as that of His firstborn, Exo 4:22 and killed all the firstborn of Egypt the night of the Passover.

Exo 31:2 states that the firstborn, both of animal and man belongs to Yahweh. Traditionally the firstborn was to have privilege, responsibility, and blessing from a father but this was not a matter of law.

If a firstborn is faithful, then the father of the family will bless his son. The term “double portion” for the inheritance of the firstborn comes from. Deut 21:15-17 But privilege and blessing could be lost if the firstborn were not faithful. Like Rueben lost the status of firstborn of Jacob after he slept with his father’s concubine Gen 35; 49:4; So Jacob bestowed the status of firstborn to Judah. 1 Chron 5:1-2

But the thing about being firstborn is not only that you are preeminent over the family but that you bear responsibility for the family. To provide, to redeem, and what’s more while the rest of the family gets mercy, the firstborn gets justice. This is dramatically shown in the Exodus of Israel from Egypt with the Passover. All the firstborn were sentenced to death, with the only escape being the blood of the lamb. Redemption is how God freed Israel and it is how He frees every sinner who is covered by the blood of the Lamb throughout History.

And our redemption by the Blood of Christ is dependent on both that it happened, and that He was an acceptable sacrifice - that He was worthy. Christ had to be faithful in order to redeem us, and because He was faithful unto death on the cross we have confidence in our redemption because it was promised by the Father to the Son.

Heb 12:2 speaking of why we should confidently continue on in Him reads;

2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

And the Joy set before Him is found in Isa 53:10-12 Where we read that it pleased the Lord to bruise Him and that He made His soul an offering for sin. We read the joy from the end of the 10th verse to the beginning of the 12th

He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul,
and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,

The joy set before Christ was that people, like us, would be saved and the end of the 12th verse shows us why God is promising this;

Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

When Christ had accomplished all this at the Cross the Father called Him to ascend to Heaven, with the promise that He would finish the plan of History and you can read that in Psa 110 which starts with;

Psa. 110:1 The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”

So we see all of this in Heb 12:2

2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

So we’re gathered here this morning to remember that Christ, the faithful witness, the very image of the invisible God has given His body, shed His blood on our behalf dying for our sins, all for the joy set before Him by God the Father and did in fact raise from the dead and is right now sitting at the right hand of the Father.

He was obedient, even unto death on the Cross and He is the firstborn of all creation, the preeminent One, who is the propitiation for our sins, and not ours only but for the sins of the whole world, which is to say all creation. And because of this, the Father has given Him the Joy which was set before Him - His redeemed ones, those saved by Grace through faith in Him. Today we remember why we have confidence in our redemption; He was faithful, worthy and accepted, so we will ever be thankful and worship Him.

No comments: