[He is] the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created…
Jesus is the firstborn in the family of creation. That is to say has the first rank of all creation. Paul will later tell us that Jesus is also the first rank in the new creation: he is "the beginning, the firstborn from the dead". Jesus is not the first to rise from the dead but he ranks first among God's new creation, just as he ranks first in the old creation.
The idea of Jesus being even ranked among creation is perplexing. Is Jesus not above creation? The answer of course is yes and no. Jesus in his divine nature is certainly above creation. Jesus is uncreated because Paul has already told us Jesus is God made visible : "he is the image of the invisible God". Jesus is the Eternal Son of God.