“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”
The seventh depiction of Christ in this list shows he is the originator of the church and the first to rise from the dead.
“who is the beginning “
“Beginning” indicates origin. Christ is the originator of the church through his death, burial, and resurrection. He was the first to rise from physical death to immortality, but others were raised from the dead only to die again. The latter kind of resurrection is resuscitation or revivification, and that is not a sufficient resurrection. That kind of resurrection will not happen to genuine Christians, and their type of resurrection will never die again! The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ describe the gospel, and the message is the church’s foundation.
In the last chapter of the Bible, Jesus Christ is said to be the “beginning,” “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last” (Rev. 22: 13).
Since Jesus Christ is our originator, he has the right to be the focus of our thoughts.
We need to fix our eyes on Jesus Christ. If our eyes are on other people, we become miserable. We are almost as pathetic as when we put our eyes on ourselves. These two focuses often run together. If we have our eyes on ourselves, we will have our eyes on others. We walk around, not leading with our chin, but leading with our sleeve! Our feelings get in the way. Our sensitivity level is so high people find it intolerable to be around us. We are so very, very sensitive about what other people think or say about us. Sometimes we are sensitive about how they say it. Consequently, we are miserable, utterly miserable.
We should not confuse Pollyanna love with biblical love. There is a place for romantic love, but it is not the love the Bible expects of us when we love God. Bible love is not emotionalism. Emotionalism may result from biblical love, but it is not biblical love per se. We cannot love Jesus Christ until we know Jesus Christ.
To know Jesus Christ, we have to think about him. “We love him because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). He first loved us by his death on the cross. That is a substantive reason to love someone. That love does not need to be manufactured in emotions. Emotions will come from that love. It is incredible how many people talk about loving Jesus Christ and do not know anything about true biblical love.
It is impossible to both love Jesus Christ and to feel sorry for yourself. Ask yourself a critical question — “Do I feel sorry about myself?” “Tonight the young people are going to a party, and I cannot go. They didn’t invite me.” “Another year has passed, and I am still not married.” “I am getting nowhere in my job.” If we feel sorry for ourselves, we do not focus on the person of Christ, the one who gives perspective and the basis for orientation to life.
It is incredible how easy it is to feel sorry for ourselves. “Jane Doe at church did not speak to me. Everywhere I go, people are unfriendly.” We need to take a good look at this, and is it self-pity?
Why should we feel sorry for ourselves when we are a child of God and an ambassador for Christ? God has a purpose for us, and he has kept us alive to fulfill that purpose.
People who feel sorry for themselves think that no one else is going through the problems they face in life. Yet people they know have gone through it or worse, except they focus on Christ. They do not complain or broadcast their problems about how terrible life is to them.