#DailyDevotion You Have Been Redeemed By the Firstborn of the Dead
6th Sunday of Easter
Read Num 3:1–16, 39–48
Num 3:12-13 “Behold, I have taken the Levites from among the people of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the people of Israel. The Levites shall be mine, (13) for all the firstborn are mine. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I consecrated for my own all the firstborn in Israel, both of man and of beast. They shall be mine: I am the LORD.” 46 And as the redemption price for the 273 of the firstborn of the people of Israel, over and above the number of the male Levites, (47) you shall take five shekels per head; you shall take them according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel of twenty gerahs),
Ever since the Lord laid down the curse of the firstborn in Egypt, he had been preparing the Israelites for the rule of the redemption of the firstborn in Israel. If you remember on Passover, the angel of death would kill the firstborn, man or beast, in Egypt if there were not the blood of the lamb upon the door of the house. The blood of the lamb redeemed the firstborn of that house.
Now among the tribes of Israel the Lord was choosing the Levites to serve in the temple as priest before him. They would not have an inheritance of land in the promised land. The Lord was their inheritance and they would receive the offerings from the Israelites the Lord commanded. The Lord choose the Levites as a substitute for every firstborn Israelite of the people to serve him at the temple. Now there was to be a redemption price for the firstborn so they did not serve at the temple. In this instance it was to be five shekels but later there was to be a sacrifice for redemption.
Now there is another firstborn whose parents paid the redemption price but who would still be called up to serve, not in a temple made with hands but in the temple of God in the heavens above. He would first be a sacrifice himself, but having been raised from the dead, the firstborn among the dead, he has been raised to the right hand of God as our high priest forever. This one is Jesus. Jesus has become our redemption and our high priest. By the shedding of his blood he has redeemed us from death and given us life. Now he stands as high priest offering up intercession for us that we would come to faith and be sustained in that faith unto life everlasting.
As the firstborn and the firstfruits from the dead, he has opened paradise for us. By his rising from the dead he has raised all human flesh from the dead. That is, all humanity will rise from the dead on the last day: Some to everlasting life—those who believed his message and some to everlasting punishment—those who rejected his message of forgiveness and life in his name.
By his being the first fruit of the grave he has proclaimed light to the world. That light is men no longer have to die the death of Adam. They no longer have to taste death. In his name, Jesus, there is life and salvation. That light is God is no longer holding our trespasses against us but has been reconciled by the blood of Jesus so be reconciled to God.
Heavenly Father, may the firstborn of the dead, Jesus, grant to us faith in his name and work that we may receive the benefits of his redemption to eternal life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.