“Dear woman, here is your son; here is your mother.” –John 19:26–27
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” (John 17:1–5 NIV)
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul describes Jesus as the “firstborn over all creation” (1:15). Paul did not mean this in the sense that Jesus was the first created being—since Jesus, being God, is uncreated, having no beginning or end—but rather that Jesus holds authority over all creation, akin to a firstborn son holding authority, in his father’s name, over the household. Jesus is also firstborn in another sense. To serve as a reminder of the tenth Egyptian plague—where God killed all of the firstborn sons except those who were protected by the blood of a sacrificial lamb—Mosaic Law required that all firstborn sons and firstborn male livestock be dedicated to God as sacrifices, though a firstborn son was always bought back from the Lord by presenting a lamb or young goat in his place.
As the firstborn over all creation, Jesus holds all authority in His strong right hand and Jesus is the only sacrifice who could redeem this world and all who dwell in it. Taken together, they don’t seem to fit, but in truth, they reveal a God who served the world by willingly stepping down from the throne of heaven to live life among us and die a sacrificial death on a cross. How can you follow in Christ’s footsteps through serving someone else today?