“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.’” (Exodus 13:1-2)
We learn from Exodus chapter 12 that the firstborn of the Israelites were protected and redeemed by the blood of a lamb. During the Passover, the Israelites put the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts. This corresponds to how the Lord wore the crown of thorns and that both his left and right hands were pierced. Exodus 13:2 says, “Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.” We are the assembly of the firstborn. We should consecrate ourselves to God.
Exodus 13:11-16 read, “When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as he swore to you and your fathers, and shall give it to you, you shall set apart to the Lord all that first opens the womb. All the firstborn of your animals that are males shall be the Lord’s. Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. Every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. And when in time to come your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, ‘By a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animals. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all the males that first open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ It shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlets between your eyes, for by a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”
Verse 12 tells us that we shall be the Lord’s because He redeemed us. Verse 13 says, “Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck.” The donkey symbolizes stubbornness, turning to one’s own way. In the past before we believed in God, we were stubborn and stiff-necked. We once committed sins and like sheep had gone astray, but God has laid on the Lord the iniquity of us all. We shall belong to the Lord only.
I wrote one hymn in regards to how we belong to Him in many ways. Not only did the Lord create me, He also redeemed me with His blood. “You redeemed, betrothed me with Your precious blood.” I feel so touched that He used His blood to redeem and betroth me to Himself forever. “To be your darling love, the seal on your heart.” I feel so precious to be redeemed by Him. The Lord redeemed us to be his dearest darling, the star of his love dream. Therefore, we shall belong to Him. We shall be His only, as what the book of Isaiah says, “…return to me, for I have redeemed you.” (Isaiah 44:22)
In the whole universe, we are the ones set apart for the Lord. We especially belong to Him. We are the ones He has needed the most since eternity past. To gain us, embrace us, and kiss us, He walked up to the cross. We have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. 1 Peter says that we are ransomed with the blood of Christ, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the blood of the Son of God (1 Peter 1:18-19). This is definitely worth remembering every time when we break bread together. In fact, I want to remember it every day even without the bread and cup.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman [It’s so precious that He’s the offspring of the woman], born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)
Let us also read Galatians 3:13-14: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”
It is so precious that the Lord died for us, becoming a curse for us, in order to redeem us from the curse of the law, so that we may receive the promised Spirit, adoption as sons, and the blessings of the new covenant. Being the firstborn is closely related to being a priest and being a king. The firstborn also receives a double portion of the inheritance. In fact, what we, the church, have received is more than a double portion.
We, the firstborns, are priests. 1 Peter clearly tells us that we are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). That is, we are the priests with king’s glory. We are priests and kings at the same time.
Revelation 5:10 reads, “And you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
We are priests and we shall also reign on the earth. It’s so precious that we are the firstborn in New Jerusalem, the church of the firstborn. The Israelites are the head of all the nations on the new earth, but we inherit all with the Lord in the universe. You can read the Bible passages again on your own. How precious it is! We inherit all with the Lord and reign with Him forever. We are the blessings to all throughout all generations. To God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.