Tuesday, July 19, 2011

destroyed & delivered

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
Hebrews 2:14-15

There are two concepts from this short passage of scripture that encourage us in the mission of Jesus. He came to do these two things, and Christianity is centered on this work of His. The first thing is that he destroyed the power of death over us. The text here says that the devil had the power of death. This is an interesting thought. Adam and Eve were cursed with mortality (and death) because of their disobedience. And at that root of the temptation to sin against God was the devil's big lie. Since that time, the devil has been working to ensure that death is his domain and that human beings received the full effect of the fall. Jesus came and dramatically changed that. He beat death for us by dying. He destroyed the power that the devil had over us.

The second concept is very personal. We are delivered from the slavery that our mortality brings with it. No longer is the outcome of mere death the essence of humanity. In Jesus, cursed humans are freed. We are given eternal life. Our souls will never perish. We are delivered from the worst that death can do to us (eternity without God in hell) and from the devil's power over us. We are set free from lifelong slavery.

So in the mission of Jesus to destroy death and deliver us from its bondage we have the greatest of human tragedies avoided. We can know life if we truly know our great Savior! That is the way in which the gospel is the best news possible!

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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