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… (Revelation 1:5).
When I was a much younger Christian, as I went about preaching to people, asking them to receive Christ’s salvation and be born again, some of them confronted me with the question: “Why should I be born again, when even Jesus wasn’t born again?”
From my limited understanding at the time, I answered that Jesus didn’t have to be born again, because He was the Son of God. But as I studied the Bible, I found out Jesus had to be born again, and He was indeed born again. The question that this may immediately bring to your mind would be: when was He born again?
According to our opening scripture, Jesus was born again the day He was raised from the dead. So why did Jesus have to be born again? The answer is simple: He needed to be born again because He was made sin for us on the Cross. The Bible records that God “…made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus took on our nature as our perfect substitute. He took our place and became ‘us’ on the cross. When God looked at Jesus on that cross, He saw you; He saw me; He saw every man, woman, boy, and girl ever born, and that’ll ever be born into this world. Our sins were laid on Him and He died in that state—our sin bearer—and was buried for us.
But thank God it didn’t end there! When He had paid the full penalty for our sins, the Bible says He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father for our justification: “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).
He needed to be raised from the dead into a new life, the resurrection life, to prove that what He did for us was adequate for our justification. He’s called “the first begotten of the dead”; that means the first to come out of spiritual death and be born again. He heads up the new creation. Glory to God!
Righteous Father, I thank you for the vicarious death and sacrifice of Jesus in my behalf by which I’ve been made righteous. Now, through His glorious resurrection, I live the divine life, reigning and ruling with Him from the heavenly realms, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
1-year bible reading plan
Acts 21:1-16; Job 25-28
2-year bible reading plan
Luke 8:11-18; Joshua 7