This question extends itself to the very essence of the gospel of the “kingdom of God”.
To begin with, where does “firstborn” (prototokos) start? From “all creation” in Genesis at Logos time or specifically “from the dead”, man-Jesus time ?
Undoubtedly, according to the understanding of Paul, “firstborn of all creation” means, Jesus is “the firstborn (prototokos) from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.”(Col. 1:18). Jesus is the Creator in Genesis and the Logos in the gospel according to John. Obviously, the Creator pre-existed before any that was created and therefore this quote does not address the question as to whether the Creator himself was created before he created others. The context in Colossians does not refer to the beginning of creation in Genesis at Logos/Creator time, but specifically relates only to being “firstborn from the dead”, during the early Christian era.
How then could a Creator be “firstborn from the dead”? This means that the Creator/Logos has to die first before becoming “firstborn from creation”; how could the spirit-composed Creator die? Also, this has similarity to the question of Nicodemus regarding humans being “born again”, as in:
“Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”(John 3:4-6).
Likewise, notice the similarity of the dilemma in the narrative about the rich young man in Matt. 19:23-25. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?”
Being firstborn from the dead, born again and for a rich man to be in the “kingdom of heaven”, any other way, appear impossible. But, notice how Jesus responded,”And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”(Matt. 19:26).
As proof that Creator God will die, Jesus said, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven”,John 3:13) confirming that the Creator was in heaven and has come down from heaven as man-Jesus, by incarnation.
Notice the requisites of being the code word “firstborn”:
1. Has to die
2. Has to be a spirit
As of now, only Jesus completed these requisites. Being spirit-composed as Creator/Logos, , he could not die. As prophesied , he incarnated into man-Jesus and being flesh, he was killed as “Passover Lamb” on Nisan 14. Subsequently, he resurrected “in three days and three nights”, and as spirit-composed, went to “tartaros” (hell) to proclaim his resurrection to the evil angels(I Pet.3:18-20; Jude 6-7; 2 Pet 2:4-5). He was then seen by many humans (as spirit-beings can show themselves as humasn, Genesis 18) before he finally went back to the Father and “seated at the right hand”. Indeed, Jesus is the “firstborn” from the dead, to “have first place in everything”.
For us, we are prophesied to follow Jesus the “the first of the firstfruits” at “his coming” ( I Cor. 15:20-23) to “meet him in the air” (I Thes.4:17) and set foot on the Mt. Olives (Zech. 14:1-4;Acts 1:7).
There should be no second-guessing about what the Father and Jesus planned to do from before the beginning of Genesis’ creation. The Potter will re-shape his clay (Jer. 18) and God will be “mindful” of us (Ps. 8:4-6; Heb. 2:6-18). A “new creation” is in the process where the Holy Spirit dwells in us to guide and nurture us to be “one” with Jesus and by extension “one” with the Father. “Old things have passed away (2 Cor. 5:17), our old self will be regenerated into a new creature. We will then become “sons of God”, higher than spirit-angels, spirit-composed like Jesus, the head of the body/church, the first of the firstfruits, the wave-sheaf offering, the “firstborn from the dead”. All in the “kingdom of God”, not in angelic species, not a human kingdom, animal-kingdom nor plant-kingdom. This is the destiny of humans given as a gift by the grace of God.