He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. (Colossians 1:18b)
It was the single most horrible day in the history of the world. On that day, the Savior of the world willingly gave up his life for rebels.
God died. And yet, we call it “Good” Friday. We call this day good because it was then that God wondrously used the very thing Satan meant for evil to accomplish his perfect plan. Through his death, Jesus powerfully killed Death so that we might be made alive in Him. But . . . He still died.
For three days, it seemed as if all hope was lost. The disciples saw Jesus pierced with their own eyes. They heard him cry out, “It is finished!” They watched as he was taken down from the cross lifeless and laid in a tomb. The guilt of their abandonment during Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion only added to the pain of his death. No doubt the disciples thought, “Things will never be the same.”
They were right . . .
On the third day, just before dawn Jesus, the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world rose from the grave in victory. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” It is mind-boggling to think that God used the death of his Son to make eternal life possible for all mankind.
And yet, the reason why we can think of these events as good is because Jesus didn’t stay dead. If Jesus had stayed dead, everything you and I believe would be nothing more than wishful thinking. But Jesus did rise from the dead — he is the firstborn from the dead. As the first who has risen from the dead among those who have fallen asleep, he guarantees the future resurrection of those who believe.
Because Jesus is the “beginning” and the “firstborn” in the resurrection, he has become preeminent in all things. This was God’s purpose from the beginning — to raise Jesus from the dead by the power of the Spirit so that Jesus might be preeminent in all things. He alone is worthy. Jesus is sufficient to redeem because he is alive!