“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). The children we are talking about in this study are those followers given to Christ by the Father (Hebrews 2:13). The point behind this is something we will address again in this chapter and talk about more at length then. Notice: “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).
One, among many things about Jesus that is great, is that He lived in the flesh. He knows what it is to live in this world as a man. Thus, when we read in our context today that “He also Himself likewise took part of the same”, there are many points to that. In the lesson we are looking at here, it was so that He could die physically. Later in this letter, we will see another reason for Jesus coming in the flesh. Here is what we find in chapter four: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
These points are outstanding things to consider. Jesus didn’t just sit on His throne in Heaven. He came down to this world to walk the walk. To the point of this study, He had to be in the flesh to die. One of the reasons He came to die in the flesh was to destroy the devil who had the power of death. This was not something that could be done under the Law of Moses (Romans 8:1-4). Let’s take some time to work through some of the things stated in Hebrews 2:14. Let’s start with the power of death that was in the hands of the devil.
First, I think it is necessary to state that the death of Christ did not end physical death itself. Physical death is the last enemy that will be destroyed (I Corinthians 15:26). Until Jesus returns and this world ends, death is a reality that we all must face (Hebrews 9:27-28). When Christ returns, death will be swallowed up in victory through the resurrection (I Corinthians 15:50-58). With that being unmistakably clear, what did Satan have that was ended by the death of Christ?
Satan, that old serpent the devil (Revelation 20:2), introduced sin into the world and by such He brought death upon mankind (Genesis 3:1-24). Now consider this: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.). Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:12-21).
When Jesus came into this world in human form, to carry out the Father’s will (Philippians 2:3-11), Satan’s grip was coming to an end. There was nothing, prior to Christ, that made sinners pure. Animal sacrifices didn’t accomplish the remission of sins (Hebrews 10:1-18). Satan was winning. Then Jesus came. Think about these Scriptures: “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel… He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother” (II Timothy 1:8-10 and I John 3:8-10).
As we read through the New Testament, we read that Jesus has the power over death now (Revelation 1:9-18). Jesus came to live and ultimately die to cast out the prince of this world (John 12:27-35). Jesus made it possible for anyone who was under the grip of sin, the power of Satan, to turn from such and be saved (Acts 26:18-20 and Ephesians 2:1-10). The power that Satan had, since the garden, is now over. Be thankful that, through the death of Christ, our sins can be removed (I Corinthians 6:9-11, I Peter 1:13-20, and Revelation 1:5).
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