Was Jesus Born Again After His Death on the Cross?

I recently had several people ask me over the last year or so whether or not Jesus was born again after His death on the cross. The reason they were asking this question is because they had heard several popular preachers make the statement that Jesus was the “first born-again man” after His death and resurrection.

The main verse these preachers were keying off to come to this kind of conclusion was the following one from Colossians:

“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18)

For the record, we do NOT believe that Jesus was born again after His death and resurrection. We believe this to be an incorrect teaching. However, we can see how someone could easily jump to this conclusion after reading the above verse.

I believe this false statement can be easily refuted with the following arguments from our Bible.

1. This Verse Should Be Interpreted Literally

First, look very closely at the wording in the above verse. This verse says that Jesus is the “first-born from the dead.”

We believe this verse should be interpreted very literally. If Jesus was going to be born “again” like all humans have to be in order to get into heaven, then God would have made sure to put the word “again” after the word “born.” But notice He did not.

The word “again” after the word “born” is an extremely important word, and there is no way God would miss this if His Son Jesus truly had to be born again to get back into heaven after His death on the cross.

However, I can see how some people could easily jump to this conclusion. When you first see the words, “first-born,” it becomes very easy to want to add in the word “again” after the word “born,” since we all know about the born-again verse in the Gospel of John.

Once again, here is the verse from John that is telling us that we all have to be born again in order to be able to get into heaven after we die and cross over.

“… I say to you, unless one is BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God … unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3,5)

Notice this verse is talking about the human race, not Jesus Himself. Again, if Jesus had to be born again like we all have to be, then I think He would have specifically said so when He was making this statement to Nicodemus.

Just simple, strict, literal interpretation of this verse from Colossians will answer this question for all of us.

2. The Doctrine of the Incarnation

The second thing from our Bible that will answer this question for us is the Doctrine of the Incarnation. This doctrine tells us that when Jesus came down to our earth in the flesh, He came down to us as fully God and fully Man.

What this means is that Jesus did not lose one ounce of His divine nature when He came down to us and fully incarnated Himself into a human flesh body. He was still fully God during the entire time He was walking among us in the flesh.

Thus, if Jesus was still fully God when He came down among us, then He would never have to be born again, since His very nature and personality is already perfectly divine and does not need to be born again in any way.

Even though Jesus also became fully Man when He came down here to die on the cross for all of us, this did not do away with His divine nature and personality in any way. Jesus was still who He was and who He has always been when He came down to our earth to die on the cross for all of us.

3. The Doctrine of the Trinity

The third thing that will answer this question for us is the Doctrine of the Trinity. This doctrine states that we are dealing with one God in 3 Persons – with God the Father being the first Person of the Divine Trinity, Jesus Christ being the 2nd Person, and the Holy Spirit being the 3rd Person.

If God the Father and the Holy Spirit will never need to be born again in any way, then it is only logical to conclude that Jesus Himself will never have to be born again in any way since He is the 2nd Person of this Divine Trinity.

Just because Jesus came down to our earth in the flesh as fully Man does not take away or diminish His divine nature in any way, nor does it take away from His place as the 2nd Person of this Divine Trinity.

It would make absolutely no logical sense for Jesus to be born again through the Holy Spirit since He was still fully God when He came down to our earth in the flesh and He had never lost His original place in the Divine Trinity.

If Jesus had to be born again in order to be able to get back into heaven after He had died on the cross, this would then have taken Him right out of His position in the Divine Trinity since He would no longer have been perfectly divine in His own nature and personality.

Bottom line – only imperfect and sinful human beings need to be born again through the Holy Spirit, not the perfect and sinless 2nd Person of the Divine Trinity, Jesus Christ.

4. Regeneration by the Holy Spirit

When a person accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, they are immediately born again. And once they are born again, the Holy Spirit will then regenerate their human spirits. Here is the verse that will show you that the Holy Spirit will do a major regenerative type of work in each born-again believer:

“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7)

Here is what the word “regeneration” means from some of the different Bible Dictionaries and Commentaries:

  • Spiritually reborn
  • Spiritual rebirth producing a new beginning
  • A spiritual rebirth, being renewed, reformed or reconstituted
  • Renewed or restored after a decline to a low condition
  • New birth, the begetting of new life
  • Renewal of moral and spiritual nature
  • The rebirth of the human spirit to a restored relationship with God
  • Renewed to life and salvation by faith in God
  • An act of God through the Holy Spirit resulting in an inner, personal resurrection from sin to a new life in Jesus Christ
  • The radical spiritual change in which God brings an individual from a condition of spiritual defeat and death to a renewed condition of holiness and life

If you look very closely at what happens when the Holy Spirit regenerates someone, it can only be referring to sinful human beings. There is no way Jesus Christ ever needs to go through any type of regenerative work by the Holy Spirit since He has always been perfectly divine in the Holy Trinity.

Since Jesus has always been perfectly divine and always the 2nd Person of the Divine Trinity, He does not need any type of rebirth, transformation, or renewal like the above definitions are telling us. If He did, this would take Him right out of the Divine Trinity since He would no longer be perfectly divine.

All of the above definitions on regeneration are only talking about sinful human beings. We are the ones who need to be spiritually reborn, transformed, and made right again with God the Father – not the perfect and sinless Son of God who has always been perfect and right with God the Father for all of eternity.

5. The Definition of the Word – “First-Born”

Another thing that will answer this question for us is the actual definition of the word “first-born” in the above verse from Colossians. According to some of the different Bible Dictionaries and Commentaries, the word “first-born” means the following:

  • The eldest
  • The term used in the Bible to describe a family’s oldest son or daughter
  • Christ is the first-born of the Father by having preeminent position over others in relation to Him
  • “First-born from the dead” – the first to rise bodily from the grave and not die again
  • It stresses Christ’s preeminence over all because he was the first to rise from the dead. As first born, Christ is the head of all things and the head of the church

Notice the last two definitions – that Jesus being the first born among the dead is directly referring to Him being the first One to rise bodily from the grave and never having to die again. As a result of Jesus being the first One to bodily resurrect from the grave, this then gives Him full preeminence over everything since He was the first One to do this.

Also notice Jesus being the first-born from the dead has nothing to do with His divine nature and personality, or Him having to be changed or transformed in any way like we all have to do with the Holy Spirit. This verse is simply referring to Jesus being the first Person to rise bodily from the grave. It has nothing to do with Him being born again through the Holy Spirit.

Once again, this verse from Colossians needs to be interpreted very literally. It means exactly what it is saying – nothing more and nothing less.

Once you add the word “again” after the word “born,” you are adding something into Scripture that was never meant to be there. And once you do that, you will completely change the revelation that God is trying to give to us from this verse. Once again, God is saying exactly what He is meaning to say in this verse.

If you go back to the above verse from Colossians, notice how it ends. It ends with the words – “that in all things He may have the preeminence.”

These words are telling us exactly what this verse is talking about. This verse is telling us that as a result of Jesus being the first One to rise bodily from the grave, He now has total preeminence over all things. He is now Lord of lords and King of kings.

The key word in this sentence is the word “preeminence.” This word means – “being supreme above all.”

Conclusion

Again, I know it is very easy to want to add the word “again” after the word “born” in the above verse since we all have that born-again verse burned into our memory banks. But this is where you really have to stop and look at the specific words that God is using in a verse.

Sometimes God will speak to us so literally in His Word, that we sometimes will miss what He is trying to tell us. And this is a verse where this will sometimes happen to some of us.

Bottom line – with Jesus Christ being the perfect Son of God and the 2nd Person of the Divine Trinity, there is no need for Jesus to ever have to go through any type of born-again experience with the Holy Spirit.

Since Jesus Christ is already perfectly divine in His own nature and personality – and He has always been perfectly one with God the Father and the Holy Spirit in the Divine Trinity – His perfect, divine personality does not need any type of renewal, rebirth, or transformation through the Holy Spirit like our personalities do.

Only imperfect and sinful human beings need to be born again through the Holy Spirit, not the one and only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ.

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10 Responses to “Was Jesus Born Again After His Death on the Cross?”

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  1. Mark Genesis - August 16, 2018 at 7:16 am

    Born Again means to be born of God (John 1:12-13). Jesus who is God (John 1:1) could never be born again because He is God (Heb 1:3,8; Heb 13:8). But ew must believe in Jesu to be a Born Again Child of God (Gal 3:26).

  2. Olumide Leshi - September 3, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Jesus was born again at the river Jordan when He was baptised in water and then the Holy Spirit came on Him, and the Father confirmed His new status as MY BELOVED SON. Mt.3:15-17. Thus, to be born again involves two major steps:
    1. Born of water: Jesus was born again when He was baptised in water. He said anyone who believes and was baptised will be saved. mk.16:15. The only difference between Jesus and the rest of us is that He was without sin and did not have to repent. Yet He must be baptised to fulfill all righteousness of being born again as a man so as to become a christian. Baptism is a legal requirement of the new covenant just as circumcision was a legal requirement of the Abrahamic covenant. Baptism is a confirmation of our faith in God’s redemption plan of atonement to save us. Jesus had to identify with this legal requirement as a man!
    2. Born of the Spirit. Jesus was born of the Spirit when the Holy Spirit came on Him. He was born again because from that day He was being led of the Spirit, no longer by the law. The evidence of being truly born again is to be led by the Spirit of God continually. RM.8:14. That is when we become the sons of God. Jesus had to go through the normal process of being born again as a man to fulfill the divine law of the new birth: EXCEPT A MAN BE BORN AGAIN HE CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD! JN. 3:3.
    Hence ,Jesus was not born again after His death and resurrection. Rather He was born again at the river Jordan to live the christian life and to pay the price of our redemption. MORE OF THIS IS FOUND IN MY BOOK: HOW JESUS BECAME A CHRISTIAN AT THE RIVER JORDAN. Thank you!

    • Mark Genesis - August 16, 2018 at 7:17 pm

      Born again is being born of God (Jh 1:12-13). It is restoring the image of God (Gen 1:27) that Adam lost by his disobedience (Rom 5:19). We are born again (becoming a child of God) by believing in Jesus (John 1:12-13) so that the image can be restore (Eph 4:24).  Jesus who is God (John 1:1) could never be born again but is the source of how we can become born again (become a child of God)(Gal 3:26}. Jesus is our perfect High Priest by emptying himself of the glory of God in the incarnation (Jh 1:14; Jh 17:5; Heb 2:17; (Phil2:7  but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. NAS)).  Was Baptist by the Holy Spirit at age 30 (Luke 3:21-23; Jh 1:31-34; Acts 10:38) and did all the miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38). Leaving as an example of how we should walk in the power of the Holy Spirit (Jh 14:12-18; Luke 24:49 Acts 1:5).

  3. Andrew Dayton - April 8, 2016 at 11:17 am

    After reading your lengthy answer, I do not agree. When Jesus said “unless one is born of water and the Spirit” he was practically speaking of his own baptism, which included water and the Spirit. He was the first one to go through this and it doesn’t mean that he was a sinner, for he was the spotless Lamb of God.

    • Eddie - September 15, 2018 at 3:19 am

      Hey – come on! ‘born of water’ was a Jewish synonym for natural birth. Jesus is simply saying that in order to see the Kingdom of Heaven we must have a ‘spiritua’ birth as well as a natural birth.

  4. Kingsley - March 29, 2016 at 12:34 am

    When Jesus was at the cross,he cried out and said my God my God, why hath thou forsaken me?.He committed no sin but he was made to bear our sins.
    At that point in time,God could not behold his own son because he bore the sins of the world.Even the Holy Spirit left him.He died the second time(Spiritual death).
    The real battle and torment came after death.He went into hell as a man bearing the sins of the world.And for three days the devil tormented him as he paid the price on our behalf.
    Jesus did not go to hell as the Son of God.If he had,the devil would not have been able to torment him and he would have been able to raise himself from the dead.
    He paid the price and when God deemed it fit that he had paid in full, he raised him up on the 3rd day.
    Since he bore our sins,he needed to be born again and the bible referred to him as the firstborn because by His death he had drawn all men to him,by which we have redemption

    • Mark Genesis - August 16, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      Jesus did not suffered in Hell:

      1) No where in the Bible does it state “Jesus suffered in Hell”

      2) Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

      3) The veil of the temple was rent in the midst when Jesus was on the Cross (Luke 23:44-45)

      Access to the Holiest

      What was God’s requirements that would allow a person to enter into the holiest that he die not (Leviticus 16)?
      a)Lev16:4 Wear the holy garments (robe of righteousness Isaiah 61:10; Eph 5:26-27; Heb10:22; Rev 19:8)
      b)Lev16:12-13 Cloud of incense to cover the mercy seat (Jesus is our mediation and intercession 1Tim2;5; Heb10:21; 1Jn2:1-2)
      c)Lev16:14 sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on the mercy seat (to make atonement for their soul Lev 17:11; Heb10;19-20)

      4) If we were given access to enter the holiest the day Jesus die on the Cross, which God did because He open the way to the Holiest by renting the veil, then why would Jesus have to suffered in Hell after He die on the cross?

  5. Derek - October 24, 2014 at 4:27 am

    Dear Brother, you have missed so many scriptures that would bring you to a different conclusion. First in Adam we all died in Christ we all are made alive. Jesus being the last Adam had to follow the steps of the first Adam. The first Adam died twice according to the word of God. Gen. 2:17 …the day you eat of it you shall surely die. The First Adam died spiritually in the garden. In Gen. 5:5 …Adam live 930 then he died. Jesus the Last Adam died twice, like the First Adam. Jesus died spiritually on the cross when he became sin for us. He spiritually became separated from God on our behalf. Then he died physically as he gave up his spirit. The same order as the First Adam. With that spiritual death he had to be reborn. You must account for the sinful nature being in our spirits. Jesus took our sin into his spirit and was the complete sacrifice for all mankind. Is. 53 tells us it was God who laid on him the iniquity of us all not the Roman soldiers. One last point you failed to make. What did God do with the sinful nature when Jesus became sin. If Jesus became sin then at some point he had to be separated from it. The way he was separated, was God causing him to be born again according to Heb. 1:5-6. You must deal with when did God says that he (again I will be to him a Father and he shall be to me a Son). God is saying this to Jesus and not to any Angel. It’s here that shows God recreated the spirit of Jesus and he was born again. He walked in newness of life in his spirit.

  6. EARL - February 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    for TOYA,

    So what is the difference of resurrection and being born again?
    Are you saying that we have been resurrected( having a glorified body like Jesus Now?) already since we are born again?
    What was the context when Jesus Christ was resurrected?
    What was the context when we were born again?
    Are you saying that Jesus was a sinner that He had to be born again?

  7. Tayo - August 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    hi. thanks for this insightful article. It seems to me that your conclusion is that Jesus was NOT BORN AGAIN after His death on the cross. i’ll however say i don’t quite understand some of the points you raised based on Colossians 1:18. The verse says Jesus Christ is ‘the beginning, the firstborn from the dead…’ I believe that simply means that Jesus Christ is the first person to be raised from the dead. the question that comes to mind then is this: did He die? I believe the answer to that question is YES. question 2, why did he die? I believe He
    died for our sins. He died for my sins. He died for sins. He was made sin. II Corinthians 5:21 makes it clear that God made Him who knew no sin (that is Jesus) to be sin for us (that is you and me) that we (that is you and me)might be made the righteousness of God in Him. He was made sin. that’s what happened to Him on the cross. I believe that’s what redemption is all about. He took our place, as a sinner. He took our place in judgement. He was judged, and that judgement said He must die. He died in our place. And afterwards, He was raised from the dead.
    so, this is my point. was Jesus BORN AGAIN after His death on the cross? I say YES. Why? because He had been BORN BEFORE THAT. Colossians 1:15 calls Him the FIRSTBORN OF EVERY CREATURE. but then He died. He died on the cross. He died in my place. He died in your place. and then He had to be BORN AGAIN, again. Thanks…

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