“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 second part of the seventh description of Christ is that he is the first to rise from the dead.
“the firstborn from the dead”
“Firstborn” indicates that he rose never to die again. All those who trust his cross to pay for their sin will rise never to die again (1 Cor. 15:20). “Firstborn” may allude to the double portion of the Old Testament. The firstborn male received a double portion because he fell heir to the leadership of his family. By the resurrection, Jesus Christ became the first to rise from the dead. Leadership of the church fell to him. He has the sovereign right to rule the church. He will guarantee that the rule will continue to exist (Matt. 16:18).
Jesus’ resurrection marks a new order of immortality (I Cor. 15:20). His resurrection also signals the triumph over death (Heb 2:14; 1 John 3:8).
Since Jesus rose from the dead, he deserves our worship and focus.
The principle we miss in life is to focus on Jesus Christ rather than ourselves. God has a purpose for us. This purpose includes the above principle. Some people are very subjective and cannot look at life objectively at all. Consequently, they feel sorry for themselves.
Then there are people who are always upset with people. Do people upset you? Here is an acid test. How do you handle traffic? Are you a wonderful person except when you get into an automobile? Do you have a dual personality when you drive? Why are we this way? Because we have our eyes on people, not Jesus Christ. The world is filled with terrible drivers. Why should we revolve our orientation to living around them?
Some of us get our eyes on people at work. At times we can handle people in our social life, but we cannot at the business. With some, they can handle business but not a social life. Others cannot get along with people at church. It depends on the circumstances we face.
Another category of self-pity is things. Some people want things. Oh, how they want things. Someone else has something they do not have. They violate the principle of focus on Christ. They get their eyes off the Lord and put them on things. There is an experience that stops Satan in his tracks — the experience of putting Jesus Christ in the place of preeminence in our lives. Unless Jesus Christ is preeminent, we will never, never orient to life.
Some people think that having a great deal of money, or even a moderate amount of money, will give them happiness. This is a standard of the world. As a Christian, we can never be happy with money. As a matter of fact, we cannot be happy without money. Money is not an issue in the orientation of a Christian! Can you be happy with or without money? Business success can never make us happy. Whether we are successful or not has no bearing on our orientation to life. We can never achieve happiness through human standards. Orientation to life comes through a focus on Jesus Christ and how it relates to us. It never depends on any human factor in life.
There is always something “just around the corner.” “Something will make me happy.” Many people will say, “If the Republicans are elected, I will be happy.” Sure, you will be happy for about five hours! It makes no difference who runs the country; our orientation to life depends on our focus upon Christ. Our orientation to life depends entirely on our relationship with the Lord.
Some look to marriage as a panacea. Marriage brings a whole new set of problems and does not solve anything. Most people who believe this will not release this idea until they get married! Marriage cannot solve everything. Please understand; marriage can be a blissful experience, but the bliss is not based on marriage itself.
Some look to retirement. Once they get to retirement, they become bitter about life. They begin to doubt whether there is a God in heaven, yet it is simply self-pity carried to the place of being mentally ill by disorientation to life.
Others wish for the day they can get out of their marriage. They might as well stop looking because happiness is not right around the corner. We need to look to the wonder of Jesus Christ.