You are certainly correct in pointing out that others were raised from the dead before Christ was raised.  Let’s read that wonderful portion: Colossians 1:12-18, “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 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.”

I encourage you to just pause and read this portion and muse upon its wonderful truths.  In this portion, we are presented with the beauty of the Son of God in His work and in His person.  He is the ‘dear Son’ of His father, and we have been translated into His kingdom.  We have been made ‘partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.’  It is Christ who has redeemed us by shedding His precious blood on the cross for us, the one perfect sacrifice to remove all our sins.  It is Christ who created all things, even kings and kingdoms!  This shows us the wonderful truth that Christ is indeed God.  Genesis 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”  This portion tells us that ‘all things were created by him, and for him.”  May we all rejoice in the truth that Jesus is God!  Not only did Christ create all things, it is by Him that all things consist, or are held together!  It is the power of the Lord that maintains the existence of the world.  He holds the world together!

Let’s look particularly now at the verse in question.  Colossians 1:18, “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.”  Let’s look at these points individually so that we might enjoy the preciousness of each truth presented in this verse:

  • And he is the head of the body, the church.”  There is only one body and there is only one church.  Ephesians 1:22-23 shows us that Christ is, “…the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”  The church IS His body.  Today, there are so many denominations, but truthfully, there is only ONE church, and Christ is the head of HIS church.  Can you join this church?  No you cannot.  It is through faith in Christ Jesus that the Lord adds you to this church.   Acts 2:47 says, “…And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”  By trusting Christ as your savior, you will immediately be added to His church!
  • Who is the beginning”   Christ is the beginning, with respect to the creation of all things, being the Lord or first born of every creature.  Here He is spoken of as the beginning and head of the church.  He is the beginning of the new creation, that spiritual creation that we become when we have Christ as our savior.
  • The firstborn from the dead”   Though others were raised before Him (some were raised BY Him), yet He is the first, and only, that rose from the dead by His own power.  Christ said in John 10:18, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”  He was raised to an immortal life, the others were raised, but not yet not to a state of immortality.  It is His resurrection that is the beginning to our new life in Him.

Because of all this, the preeminence belongs to Him and Him alone.  His place is rightly first in rank, dignity, honor and power. The church is His and He is the preeminent One!  (190.2)