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).
Many misunderstand the underlined phrase above, thinking that it means the first to be raised from the dead. Prior to Jesus’ vicarious death, there were those who had been raised from the dead. So what the Apostle Paul communicates by the Spirit here is different. When our sins were laid on Jesus on the Cross, He died spiritually. Spiritual death is separation from God. Only through a spiritual rebirth does one awake from spiritual death. Jesus Christ was thus the firstborn from spiritual death.
As Jesus hung on the Cross, He suffered the agony of being separated from the Father (Mark 15:34). This was a result of His being made the sin sacrifice, which automatically identified with sin. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
It should have been illegal for Jesus to be crucified and sent to hell, because He was innocent and without sin, but He went in our place. Recall the graphic details in Colossians 2:15 when He engaged Satan in that awful combat in hell and defeated him and all his cohorts of darkness: “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
No one ever came out of spiritual death or out of Satan’s bondage, but Jesus did. He paid the full penalty for every man. Thus, because a righteous man was given for sinners, it became legal, and possible, for sinners to be given His righteousness. He took our place of sin, that we might obtain His righteousness.
Now, He has made you the very expression of His righteousness. The righteousness that He was clothed with was made available to you because He died for you, and when He came out of death, you came out in and with Him. Now, like Him, you’ve been born into a newness of life (Romans 6:4). Hallelujah!
Dear Father, I thank you for the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus in my behalf, who became the very representation of sin and died in my place so that I might be made righteous and also become the expression of your righteousness. I walk in and manifest your righteousness, today in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
1-year bible reading plan
2 Timothy 2:1-26; Jeremiah 19-22
2-year bible reading plan
John 7:45-53; 2 Kings 15-16