“Firstborn from the dead” is how Jesus Christ is referred to in Revelation 1:5 and Colossians 1:18 (New King James and other translations, some translations into English phrase it somewhat differently, but with essentially the same meaning). In this article, I want to discuss the implications of the title “Firstborn from the Dead,” as it applies to Jesus Christ.
Is this term to be understood only as a title denoting preeminence, as some have suggested? Or does it also imply that Jesus Christ is the first, in time order, to be “born” from the dead, as a metaphor for the resurrection? We know that others were resurrected from the dead before Jesus Christ was. He himself had resurrected his friend Lazarus, who had died, and had also resurrected others from the dead during his ministry (Matthew 9:18-19, 23-25; 11:5; Luke 7:11-16, 22; 8:41-42, 49-56; John 11:11-45). So why is Jesus Christ called the “firstborn from the dead,” and what significance does that have?Continue reading