Thursday, December 14
Born first Born Son
Scripture Reading: Luke 2:7; Exodus 12:21-32; John 1:29
I’m the firstborn son of three boys. One Christmas morning as a kid, I led the charge in ransacking a perfectly good day. How you may ask? I woke my little brothers up before dawn, and like stealthy ninjas, we army-crawled past my parent’s open door and drooled over the magical view of presents from wall-to-wall. I just couldn’t resist! I opened the first one and then it was like falling dominos. The gifts didn’t have a chance! Within minutes we tore open ever gift under the tree. My dad woke up, hearing all the commotion, and who do you think he held responsible for this grievous sin? Yep, he called out his firstborn son…me.
There is something to being a firstborn son particularly in the case of Jesus. At His incarnation, Jesus became Mary’s firstborn and in his resurrection Jesus became the “firstborn from among the dead”. (Col 1:18 & Rev 1:4) In the Old Testament, Israel was referred to as God’s “firstborn son” (Ex. 4:22) After the Passover, in Exodus, where God spared His people through the blood of the lamb and heroically freed them from slavery in Egypt; we see a shadow Jesus Christ.
O come, O come Emanuel (Jesus) and ransom captive Israel!
Where Israel fell short as God’s firstborn, Jesus faithfully lived a perfect life under God’s Law. Like Israel, you and I have all sinned and fall way short of God’s glory; landing us under the death penalty, similar to the Egyptians. (Rom 3:23). Our sins against a holy and righteous God make us dead men walking under God's judgement. We need to be rescued! In steps Jesus; the gift of God. You and I can be forgiven and brought into a right relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death and glorious resurrection.
That first Christmas in Bethlehem, God gave us His superior firstborn Son; the sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Mary’s firstborn, thus, grew up to become the firstborn among the dead (first to raise from the dead) and give us the joyful hope of heaven. What does that mean for you and I? If you are in Christ, when God sees you, He sees His firstborn Son Jesus and welcomes you with open arms!
This Christmas season, as you spot baby Jesus in manager scenes all over Tallahassee, be reminded that Christmas points to Easter. The birth of God’s Son is crowned by His resurrection. Merry Christmas!
- What have you learned about the significance of Jesus being the ‘firstborn’ Son?
- In what ways do you relate to ancient Israelites? How are you different from them?
- What is one creative way you could bring the joy and hope of Christmas to someone who needs it this week? Go & do it!
Listen to: “O Come Oh Come Emanuel” by Sufjan Stevens