Lord's Day Liturgy

Following the First

Jesus is called the “firstborn son” of Mary (Luke 2:7). He’s called that because He wasn’t Joseph’s biological son, and because Mary did have other biological children afterward. The emphasis here is on His being born.

Jesus is also called “the firstborn of all creation” (Colossians 1:15). Such a firstborn wasn’t a material question but a positional one. He created all things, all creation is by Him and through Him and to Him (1:16). The emphasis here is on His being highest.

Jesus is called “the firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18). This is physical; He did rise in body on the third day. The emphasis here is on His being alive. It is also positional; related to His character and His crucifixion.

He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:18–20 ESV)

And it is numerical; more will follow. He is the “firstborn of many brothers” (Romans 8:29). The emphasis here is on His being first; there is more than one, more to follow.

We celebrate His coming as a son of Mary, God clothed in flesh. We worship Him as unsurpassed, God as Creator and God in Christ. And we wait for His coming again, when we will be raised in flesh to follow in His train (1 Corinthians 15:22-23).