"For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers" (Romans 8:29, NIV).
Several times in the New Testament, the title, "firstborn," is applied to Jesus Christ. He is variously referred to as "the firstborn from the dead" (Revelation 1:5, NIV), "the firstborn among many brothers" (Romans 8:29, NIV), and simply, "the firstborn" (Hebrews 1:6, NIV). As applied to Jesus, this special title does not refer to natural birth. It is used figuratively to denote dignity and rank. The figure is taken from the custom of conferring high honor on the firstborn of a royal family.
In its special application to Jesus, the title clearly means priority in time as well as superiority in privilege and authority. It portrays Christ's unique authority as our Creator, Saviour, and Lord. In His creative power, Jesus is the first in rank in all creation. In His resurrection power, He is the first to be resurrected by His own inherent power.
Through the miracle of the incarnation, Christ has made us His brothers and sisters and truly brings "many sons to glory" (Hebrews 2:10, NIV). Because of His identity with the human race, Christ made us part of God's family, enrolled us in the "church of the firstborn" (Hebrews 12:23), and has written our names in the book of life. What a blessed privilege!
Writing on the theme of Jesus Christ as the firstborn, Ellen G. White declares: "The Lord Jesus is the embodiment of the glory of the Godhead. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. God has revealed himself to men; He stooped to take upon Him our nature, and in His Son we see the glory of the divine attributes.--Signs of the Times, December 12, 1895.
My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, I acknowledge Jesus Christ as supreme in the universe. May His power transform me into His likeness. Amen.