Firstborn of the Dead

In his letter to the church in Colossae, Paul stresses the exaltation of Jesus following his resurrection. It seems some congregants were confused about his authority over the spiritual powers that remained hostile to his people. So, Paul reminded the church of just how highly God exalted the one who became the “firstborn of the dead.”

Implicit in the Apostle’s statement is the assumption that Jesus did not always possess his present preeminence. His high status is the result of his obedience unto death, as well as his triumph over the hostile spiritual powers achieved on the Cross.

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Jesus received complete authority from his Father to reign over the Cosmos. Only his kingdom will endure.

At the height of his power, the absolute monarch of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, boasted before heaven and earth, “Is not this Babylon the great and exceptional kingdom that I built by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?” His boast was not an idle one. Babylon was one of the great powers of the ancient world.

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Disciples reign with Jesus as “priests” who render service in his Tabernacle by mediating his light in the world.

In Revelation, the present sovereignty of Jesus is based on his past death and resurrection, and because of his sacrificial death, his disciples now reign with him. But like him, their elevation to rule over the earth is paradoxical – it is characterized by self-sacrificial service, for the outpouring of his lifeblood has consecrated them as “priests” for God.

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SYNOPSIS – Peter explained what God had accomplished in Jesus to a confused crowd in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost – Acts 2:16-36

When the Day of Pentecost had “fully come,” the Spirit of God descended onto the assembly of disciples accompanied by audible and visual manifestations. As the disciples were “filled with the Spirit,” they began to “speak in other tongues as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” This caused a great commotion among many Jewish pilgrims who witnessed the event. Some were confused; others accused the disciples of drunkenness.  It was to this crowd that Peter addressed the first “sermon” of the new age of the Spirit.

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SYNOPSIS – Jesus is the promised Messiah, the King who reigns on David’s throne, and the anointed Son of God – Psalm 2:1-9.

The second Psalm is a messianic prophecy about the ideal king of Israel who is destined to sit on the throne of David. The Psalmist identified him as “Yahweh’s anointed.” He is also called, “My king upon holy Zion,” and, “my son.” His enthronement marks “the day Yahweh has begotten you.” This “anointed one” is the appointed ruler and son of Yahweh.

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