Let’s look at another unique feature about the Church, the Body of Christ, the ekklesia, the called out ones. “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant” (Hebrews 12:22-24).
Colossians 1:18 calls Jesus “the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” The Apostle Paul explains what the phrase means in 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23: “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.”
Being born from the dead refers to resurrection. It is when we are given our glorified, immortal bodies when our Lord comes again at the rapture. Like Jesus, we shall be alive forevermore (Revelation 1:18). Resurrection is when we are perfected in Him. Being resurrected is not the same as being raised from the dead, as with Lazarus. Miraculously, life came back into his same mortal body. At some point, Lazarus died again.
Notice that Jesus is the firstborn from the dead. He was the first person who overcame death through resurrection. He was the first to be “birthed from death.” If there is a “first,” then there must be a second, third, and so on. Romans 8:29 confirms that we are “predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” The many brethren are His Body, the ekklesia.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24).
“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Romans 6:5).
Overcoming death in this way—being birthed from death—is one of the promises our Lord gave us in His revelation of things to come. “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21). This is our destiny!