Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
— Luke 2:7
Exodus 12:21-32

21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go, select an animal from the flock according to your families, and slaughter the Passover animal. 22 Take a cluster of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and brush the lintel and the two doorposts with some of the blood in the basin. None of you may go out the door of his house until morning. 23 When the Lord passes through to strike Egypt and sees the blood on the lintel and the two doorposts, he will pass over the door and not let the destroyer enter your houses to strike you.
24 “Keep this command permanently as a statute for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, you are to observe this ceremony. 26 When your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 27 you are to reply, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when he struck the Egyptians and spared our homes.’” So the people knelt low and worshiped. 28 Then the Israelites went and did this; they did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.

29 Now at midnight the Lord struck every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon, and every firstborn of the livestock. 30 During the night Pharaoh got up, he along with all his officials and all the Egyptians, and there was a loud wailing throughout Egypt because there wasn’t a house without someone dead. 31 He summoned Moses and Aaron during the night and said, “Get out immediately from among my people, both you and the Israelites, and go, worship the Lord as you have said. 32 Take even your flocks and your herds as you asked and leave, and also bless me.”
— Exodus 12:21-32
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
— John 1:29

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!


Reflection Questions:

  1. What have you learned about the significance of Jesus being the ‘firstborn’ Son?
  2. In what ways do you relate to ancient Israelites? How are you different from them? 
  3. 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