The expression “first begotten of the dead” or “firstborn of the dead” has caused much perplexity. Let us walk through the bible to understand this sacred truth!
“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” Revelation 1:5
What does the word first begotten or first born mean in the Greek?
From the Greek word prōtos: foremost (in time, place, order or importance): – before, beginning, best, chief (-est), first (of all), former
Was Christ the first to be resurrected in time or order here on earth?
Moses (Deuteronomy 34:5; Jude 9) and, at least, three others, were resurrected in the old testament ( 1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:35; 2 Kings 13:21)
Answer: No, others were resurrected before Christ.
Was Christ then the first born in importance?
“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.” Colossians 1:18
What is preeminence?
Preeminence Defined: the fact of surpassing all others; superiority, Importance, greatness, prestige, fame.
Answer: Christ was “first begotten of the dead” because His resurrection took the pre-eminence over all
other resurrections. The President’s wife is spoken of as the First Lady—not because she is the
first lady who existed, but first in honor and pre-eminence.
How was Christ resurrection set apart from all other resurrections?
” Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” John 10:17-18
“Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. ” Romans 6:9
Answer: We see here that Christ, after laying down His life, had the power to be resurrected. Christ was resurrected to life, not having to face death anymore.
Through this, we are promised, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” 1 Thessalonians 4:14 It is through Christ’s resurrection, that all other resurrections to life eternal are made possible. Do you accept Christ into your life today?