March 11, 2021
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
To consecrate is to declare sacred (to dedicate, set apart). So is only the firstborn to be dedicated to God? Pre-Christ, yes, but through the lens of the Gospel, Jesus fulfills God’s command as the firstborn of all creation (Col 1:15) and of the dead (Col 1:18). And we, his disciples, are being conformed into his likeness in order that he might be the firstborn among many (Rom 8:29). In this last verse, Paul refers to how all believers are consecrated to be image-bearers, that Christ might draw others into a saving relationship with him through us.
In Old Testament times, the male child was consecrated by circumcision to symbolize a covenantal relationship with Yahweh and his people. Today, it is baptism—not just for firstborn males, but for all who are called by God. And like Israel, we need the support of a covenant community.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling