I might be buying a WIFI extender – and that thought, to remove dead zones around the house, extends me to think about the truth that Jesus brings us life – and thru the Spirit, we have life extenders. Unlike WIFI repeaters, we are to be Jesus-extenders, not a copy but reaching others FROM His Spirit THRU US. The signal strength is hopefully getting stronger and stronger, especially as we approach end times and are reminded to keep strong in the faith. The Book of Revelations tells us all about those – but right now as far as we know we are in the midst of the middle, where God is rallying and herding and nurturing and feeding. Our earthly life will end, but how we are being made into His Kingdom is what eventually will be the recounting of us for the “rest of the story” like Paul Harvey would say on the radio…
I don’t like nitpicking facts with scripture writers – not a good idea – but this one statement gave me pause just now – that “Jesus is firstborn from the dead” – recorded in Revelation which is a fitting name for revealing the end of the “rest of the story”. Jesus is the firstborn from the dead. Gee, I haven’t even gotten off the first 2 paragraphs of this chapter and I have had to write 2 devotions so far! This one started as nitpicking, which led to questioning, which led to pondering, which leads to God being right (because He always was and is), and this always leads to me being taught!
John says in Revelation chapter 1:4-5: “…Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.” The King James version of the bible uses: “the first begotten of the dead.”
Jesus surely is the witness, ruler and raised from the dead. But at first I actually thought to nitpick (I either have too many questions or not enough) and say: Hey, but what about Lazarus? What about Jairus’ daughter? What about – what about??? Weren’t they ALL risen from the dead – and weren’t they all early – earlier than Jesus? I had to DISMISS that notion right away, because it is not a simple thing, and even though I know they were risen back up into our earthly world again, they technically were not raised into eternal life, as of yet… See, that is where this notion in my head is going – that Jesus was double born – or never unborn – or repackaged – or clothed in flesh until glory revealed again – or don’t even worry about these things in terminology or logistics – Jesus is the Word and our words (lower case w) won’t describe the God reality – but dead we all were and dead we all will be here on earth – dead in transgressions and dead in flesh – and born and then reborn we all can be in Jesus. We MUST be reborn – be awakened – “get it”. And raised? Jesus Firstborn of the raised? Yes. Ah, I am thankful for Google because it told me that in the Greek, John wrote the word prōtotokos, a word that literally refers to birth order—the first child born…
We have not enough language in the world to describe Jesus, let alone God and the Holy Spirit. We have the bible written in multiple languages from the start, Hebrew and Greek. And Jesus Himself spoke in the local dialect as well, a common language of Arameic… Jesus must have said so many things that we don’t have captured, as He did so many works on Earth that it is said there aren’t enough pages of books to describe it all (John 21:25) – and Jesus thru the Holy Spirit is STILL working and will not rest until all work for the Father is done by helping us realize His Way.
The statement RAISED from the dead means something else too. The dead are the people dead in sin, all of us. So life in and thru Jesus is not physical although He can alter that too, life thru Jesus is spiritual – and raised from the dead really is raised away from the physical aspects of life. Raised from sin. I bring this notion in from a radio message podcast Pastor Joe, where he described aspects of Adam, who lived to be 900 yrs old humanly, and life before the fall – that Adam was in the image of God, clothed in light – multidimensional – and all spiritual access to God. Therefore, we will all be risen from the dead – we will be light and back in God’s image. (Death in Adam, Life in Christ Nov 11th https://subspla.sh/fzkznqs)
Raised from the dead, means reared away from sin, brought up in the faith, fed with spiritual milk and meat, raised away from earthly trappings. We have to leave this dead zone to extended life (just like the wifi extender).
Jesus was first born of those who walked the earth because Jesus was and is Alpha and Omega, existed at the beginning and will forever be the LIGHT. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” –
“Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!” Rev 1:17-18
FIRSTBORN, prōtotokos, thanks for breaking thru.