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by Wayne Blank
The Firstborn Of Joseph And Mary
"And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn." (Luke 2:7 RSV)
Other brothers and sisters followed:
"Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary? And are not His brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all His sisters with us" (Matthew 13:55-56 RSV) (see Mary's Other Children?)
The Priesthood of the Firstborn
Originally, the firstborn son served as the priest, which among the Children of Jacob was transferred from Reuben to the descendants of Levi (see Levites). The role of the high priest in The Tabernacle, beginning with Aaron, was actually just a foreshadow of the mission of Jesus Christ:
"For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people."
A better covenant:
"This makes Jesus the surety of a better covenant. The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but He holds His priesthood permanently, because He continues for ever. Consequently He is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them."
The Firstborn of Many
Jesus Christ is the "firstborn," the "elder brother," of all who will inherit salvation:
"He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities - all things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything He might be pre-eminent." (Colossians 1:15-18 RSV)
Fact Finder: What is the significance of the Day of Atonement?
This Week's Bible Quiz
1.What was the name of the father of John The Baptist?
2. What was the name of the mother of John the baptist?
3. What was the name of the angel who announced the coming birth of John the baptist?
4. Did John baptize Jesus, or did Jesus baptize John?
5. Did John the baptist ever preach in the Desert of Judea?
6. Why did John tell people to repent?
7. What were John the baptist's clothes made of?
8. What did John the baptist eat?
9. In what river did John baptize?
10. How did John the baptist die?
For the answers to this August 29 2000 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page