Col 1:18-20 “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
Such a simple and powerful truth: Jesus is the head of the body, and the body is the church. The scripture is not talking about buildings or locations. Buildings are just that…buildings. I thank God for having a nice and comfortable meeting house, but the building is not the church. The building cannot be the body of Jesus because the building cannot move; it cannot speak words of comfort; it cannot embrace God’s children with love.
Christ is the head of the body. A body functions according to the impulses it receives from the head. The church moves according to the will and purpose of her Head. The church is a living, functioning body whose members are all important in the work of her Head, but the body does not dictate to the head. He is the head of the church, and He is the beginning.
Jesus is the beginning from the sense of all things being created by Him. He is also the beginning to the church in that the sacrifice that He made ushered in this grace wherein we stand. He is also the firstborn in a sense separate from being the creator. He is the firstborn from the dead.
The scripture plainly teaches that Jesus raised the widow’s son from the dead (Luk 7:12-15). He wept at the tomb of Lazarus before raising Lazarus from the dead (Luk 11:1-43). Since Jesus raised both of these men from the dead, before His crucifixion, how is Jesus the firstborn from the dead? When the widow’s son and Lazarus were raised from the dead, they were restored to their natural existence. At some point, they had to return to the tomb to await the resurrection that we look forward to.
Jesus was the firstborn from the dead because He was the first one resurrected from the dead who has never (and will never) return to the tomb. We have the blessed security of knowing that we were represented in Him. He is the firstborn from the dead, but, praise God, He is not the last.
Being the Creator of all things, the Head of the church, and the firstborn from the dead was according to God’s holy purpose. His purpose was that God the Son should have the preeminence in all things. Jesus holds the place and position of being first in every aspect of the life of the child of God.
It is not a matter of whether we put Him first: He is first. We do not always do things in our life in a way that follows the mantra “first things first.” When we fail to do so, whatever it is we are doing does not work our like it should. Our failure to recognize what’s first does not change the fact that there is always a first thing.
Jesus if first because it pleased the Father for all fullness to reside in the Son. The fulfillment of every prophecy and promise resides in the Son; the fulfillment of the law resides in the Son; the redemption of God’s family resides in the Son. Without Him was not anything made that was made (Joh 3:3).
If it exists, it does so according to the will of God through our Lord Jesus. He has the preeminence in reconciling us unto God the Father because He made peace through the blood of His cross. His blood is the channel by which His sacrifice on the cross cleanses us and causes us to be in harmony (peace) with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
If we are looking at things in the earth, He has the preeminence. There is no natural creation that does not exist without Him. If we are looking at the peace, love, and salvation we enjoy in our daily walk in His kingdom here, He has the preeminence. He is the head over all things to the church (Eph 1:22). If we are looking at the assurance of our eternal salvation, He has the preeminence. We are not our own but are bought with a price that only He could pay (1Co 6:19-20).
May God give us the wisdom to understand that we have all things through Jesus Christ!