"He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
... all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together."
(Col. 1:15-18)

The word "exemplar" means a desirable model, the best of its kind, deserving of imitation.

Scripture tells us that Christ is the first-born of all creation because God the Father created all things through him. "Every blueprint, schematic and pattern of all things which God the Father has crated dwells in Christ." (Wordpress.com: Christ in you the Prototype and Archetype of Creation) In the Father's mind, Christ is the reason for creation. This means that all creatures, in some way, must reflect Christ and be drawn toward Christ. "Jesus Christ is God's masterpiece, the greatest of all his works, and whatever moment and circumstances of His manifestation in time, He is the first to be willed by God, and in view of Him were all other things brought into being (cf, Pancheri, p. 67). In a word, Christ Jesus is the Alpha of all creation". (Kolgecenter.org, Christ, the Exemplar Cause of Creation ....)

First of all all creatures drift toward unity (atoms, molecules, cells, organs and creature). Second, we notice the movement of lower life toward higher life (matter, plants, animals and man). Creatures must give up their lower life in order to live in the higher form of life. The Father created man in the image of his Son who was to take on a human nature. In the social order, the union of man and woman looks toward the love of Christ for his Church, and in the final analysis, the love of God for mankind in glory. The animal sacrifices of the Old Covenant were temporary effective pre-figuration of Christ's sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Governments instituted for social order look forward to God's government centered in Christ the eternal king.

In the book of Revelation we read, "Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead..." (Rv 1:4) Since he was the first human being to rise from the dead with his body, He is the exemplar or prototype of the resurrection for all of humanity.

7. Third Cause: Efficient