QUESTION: In Rev. 1:5 Jesus Christ is called the first-born of the dead. What does this mean?
ANSWER: It means that he was the first who arose to die no more. In this sense he was "the first fruits of them that slept." It also signifies prominence; he is the chief of all risen from the dead, and leader of the resurrection.
— Steele's Answers pp. 262, 263.