Victory Over Death- Hebrews 2:10-15

As we continue in our examination of Hebrews 2, we now find the writer’s explanation of what the dominion which Jesus restored to humanity consists of and what it looks like. We begin in verse 10, where we are told that Jesus (referred to here as the “author of our salvation”) was made “perfect through suffering”. The Greek word “perfect” here is telos, and does not coincide with our common understanding of perfect as “flawless”. The word telos describes something which accomplishes its purpose, which reaches its goal. Jesus purpose in coming was to suffer and die on a cross for our sins, and through the suffering of the cross He accomplished His purpose, our salvation. We then find, in verse 11, that Jesus “makes holy” all those who are in Him. The Greek word holy here means “set apart for God’s use, for God’s purpose”. God has a unique purpose for each of our lives, and He uses the “sufferings” of life to help us accomplish His purpose for us, just as he did with Jesus. This is why Jesus is “not ashamed to call us brothers” (verse 11), since we are “children” of God just as He is (verse 13). The writer uses the term “children” here (Greek paidia) in its ancient sense, not as describing physical descendants but as describing those who are “about their father’s business” (Luke 2:49), as those who seek to fulfill their father’s purposes in life. His children here are those who, like Jesus, make it their mission and goal in life to accomplish God’s purpose for their lives, who are about their Father’s business. We then discover how Jesus has accomplished this, and in the process also discover what our enemy’s primary weapon is in his battle to keep us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. We find this in verse 14, where we are told that our enemy (the devil) “holds the power of death”. What does the writer mean here in using this language of the devil? It goes back to the idea of dominion. When Adam sided with the devil in rebellion against God, he gave the dominion he was given by God to the devil, and that dominion is held by the devil over every human being until they accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. In those who accept Jesus, the devil is “destroyed”, here using the Greek katargeo, which does not mean destroyed as we commonly think of as annihilation, but rather means “to render powerless or ineffective”. The devil’s power over us has been broken, he can no longer have the same effect on us, his dominion over us has been done away with and we have been given dominion over him. He is no longer able to “hold us in slavery through our fear of death” (verse 15). What the writer is telling us here is that Jesus, through His victory over death for us, has freed us once and for all from any bondage to the fear of death. This is the primary way in which the devil “controls” those who are of the world, how he gets them to be about his business and accomplish his purpose for their lives. Jesus has freed those who trust Him once and for all from this bondage, we no longer need fear death, it has been defeated, we come out of it alive just as Jesus did. Because we no longer fear death, we no longer give the devil opportunity to exercise his dominion over us, we are free to be about our Father’s business. The process of being made holy here, then, is the process of being gradually set free from our inherent fear of death, free from the control of the devil and free to be controlled by our Father. Jesus died not only to ensure we will go to heaven when we die, but also so that we could overcome death here and now, overcome the fear of it which keeps us from accomplishing God’s purpose for our lives. It is our prayer that all who have accepted Christ would live free from the fear which used to control them, free to be all God created them to be and to do all God created them to do, free to truly be the children of God.

No Comments Conformed to the Image of Christ  //  Epistles  //  Growing In Grace  //  Jesus Christ  //  Living with a Purpose

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