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Colossians 1:18b

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Colossians 1:18b, ‘…He is the beginning, the Firstborn from the Dead.’

This is the fifth picture in the planned Colossians 1:15-20 board book. When Jesus walks out of the tomb, the New Creation has begun. But Jesus is not raised from the dead *into* the New Creation (as we are now in union to Him and will be when we ourselves are raised from the dead), rather, He is raised *as* the New Creation; He Himself IS its beginning.

So, in this image, the risen Jesus is pictured as the Vanguard of the New Creation, the firstborn from the Dead who opens the way out of the grave of this sin-bound world, into the Life of the Triune God. Simultaneously, His own risen body—which is in itself the Old Creation woven into the life of God and now raised up with the resurrection into Newness of Life—carves out and constitutes the regenerated cosmos, the New Heavens and Earth, the Spirit-saturated reality that is dawning, has dawned, and will fully dawn upon upon all things, within which the fabric of space and time itself is interwoven with the golden thread of holiness, and dyed with the crimson, blue, and purple hues of the knowledge of the glory of YHWH streaming from the face of Jesus Christ (Is. 9:11; Hab.2:14; 2 Cor.4:6).

Within this New Creation, the Bride—the Church, the redeemed people of God—wakens from the Winter of her death into the Springtime of the risen life the One who is her Head (2 Cor.5:17; Song 2:10-12). Like Mary outside the tomb, the Bride turns with joy from the mouth of the grave to the face of the risen Lord (Jn. 20:16). The borders of the tomb itself are marked with the emblems of the Temple Veil since, in piercing through the barrier of our mortality (in the piercing of His own flesh on the cross), Jesus opens the way into the True Holy of Holies, the life of the Triune God, into which He—as High Priest—leads in joyful procession His Bride and all the regenerated cosmos with her (Rom.8:19-21; Heb.6:19-20; 10:19-21).