Monday, May 2, 2011

New Wine

By André Karwath aka Aka
(Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5]
via Wikimedia Commons
Colossians 1:18 says that Jesus Christ is "the firstborn from among the dead." That bit always confused me as a child. After all, Elijah raised the widow's son, and Christ Himself raised Lazarus. What could it possibly mean for Jesus to be the firstborn from the dead?

But at some point it occurred to me. The boy and Lazarus would eventually see death. They were given an extended lease on life, but for them death still reigned.

The Resurrection of Jesus was something different, and this is why you will always see me capitalize it. The boy and Lazarus were raised from being dead, Jesus was raised from Death itself. Jesus, in being fully man, was fully subject to the rule of death, but He went through that death and was raised again, nevermore to die.

This is important because it's a promise. Christ is the firstfruits, the sign that all who die in Him shall at the last day be raised. And we see in Him that the Resurrection that awaits us in a thing spectacular indeed. Just as the grape must die and be crushed in the winepress so that it might become the beautiful thing that is wine, so we must die that we might become a new thing.