Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Through Christ’s Death We Were Rescued from Satan (Hebrews 2:14-15)

14 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, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 
The children of God, perhaps you friend, were once held in servitude by your enemy, Satan. Since we are human, our Captain, Jesus Christ, had to become human and die for us, in order to rescue us. But by doing so He was able to destroy Satan. 

The Hebrews' author doesn't mean that Satan ceased to exist or to be active. Rather the word he used for “destroy” (katargēsē) indicates the annulment of his power over those whom Christ redeems. In speaking of the devil as wielding the power of death, the writer means that Satan uses people’s fear of death to enslave them to his will. Often people make wrong moral choices out of their intense desire for self-preservation. We are being reminded that we are no longer subject to such slavery and that we can face death with the same confidence in God our Captain had.

Remember today that whatever our needs or trials, our Lord Jesus is adequate to help us since He ministers to Abraham’s descendants, not angels. The expression “Abraham’s descendants” (lit., “Abraham’s seed”) may point to the Jewishness of the writer’s audience, but even Gentile Christians can claim to be the “seed of Abraham” in a spiritual sense (Gal. 3:29). 

The help which the Lord gives to His followers is again predicated on the fact that He was made like His brothers in every way (Heb. 2:17), that is, both in terms of becoming incarnate and by virtue of suffering. 

What depth of mercy that Christ joyfully stands with His brothers! He not only grants them the name of brothers, but also the experience of His brothers, especially in trials.

Chapter 2 closes by speaking of how we have a merciful and faithful High Priest (vv. 17–18). Both of these descriptions of our High Priest are needed. If Christ were not merciful, sinners could have no confidence in coming to God. If Christ were not faithful, believers would not have a continued boldness to come before God. 

Thank God that Christ has rescued us from Satan and set us free!