For Westmont’s 75th Anniversary Homecoming Celebration, Robert H. Gundry, scholar in residence at Westmont, spoke in chapel about the college’s motto: Christus Primatum Tenens. He translated the Latin phrase: Christ holds first place. “First in rank. First in time. And now, first in resurrection,” he said. “This is the third way Christ holds first place.
“(Colossians 1:18) He’s ‘the firstborn from among the dead,’ that is, the first to be resurrected. Not a temporary resuscitation in his case, but a permanent resurrection. Here ‘firstborn’ does have its temporal meaning; and the result, the accomplished purpose, of his resurrection, Paul says, is that particularly in relation to us, his church, Christ himself, and he alone, has come to have first place in all things, in all respects.
“More especially, though, because he’s first in resurrection, our own resurrection as people who belong to him is assured—or, as Paul says in chapter 3, ‘Your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, is revealed, then you too will be revealed with him in glory.’ A bright future awaits us, a future gloriously bright with resurrection to eternal life.”
To read the entire transcript of the Gundry’s chapel talk, please visit: http://blogs.westmont.edu/magazine/2013/01/30/christus-primatum-tenens/