In order to express His divine thoughts about His Son (as Paul put it, “the mystery of Christ”), God ordered in the family of Man the concept and rules of the first-born. The first-born in the ancient Hebrew culture would have two separate endowments from his father: his birthright and an inheritance of a double portion compared to his brothers. This is clearly seen in the story of Jacob. He first lured His brother, Esau, the first-born, for the birthright with a bowl of soup. Then when Isaac was dying, he pretended to be Esau at the encouragement of his mother and stole the blessings. A similar scenario was also clearly described in his dealing with Joseph, when he passed on his blessings to him. He gave Joseph a double portion while claiming his two sons as his own. This double portion also came with added responsibility.
With the birthright, the first-born is destined to bear the name of the father, and when he is mature, he is to represent his father in social and legal matters. For this reason, he is strictly disciplined by the Father in the running of the household and servants of his businesses, so that he will be equipped with skills, knowledge, wisdom, and experience to independently carry on the responsibility of the family and manage all kinds of affairs. The name of the family, and with it, its honor and well being, goes with the birthright. Thus, the first-born is also entrusted with the duty to watch over his siblings and help them to manage their affairs well, so that they all can live together in unity, love and prosperity as one family.
In this, we can clearly see Christ as the first-born of many brothers. He is not ashamed to call us brothers and friends. He would lay down His honor and royalty to wash your feet as a humble servant. He would willingly lay down His life for you on the Cross so that you can be reconciled back to the Father.
With inheritance, the first-born is privileged to enjoy a double-portion. This double-portion, however, was passed on to the Church in Christ Jesus. (Isa. 61) Our double portion is the Father and the Son. Our inheritance is God Himself and we are His inheritance. This is a very familiar concept in the Bible.
This post is _Part 4_ in a series Restored Back to the Father: Son and Orphan. To continue with this series, click on Part 5. To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading the explanation of this series and then read Pt 1, Pt 2 and Pt 3.
Photo credit: chevzilla38