12/17/16 The Power of Death

READING: Hebrews 1-6

A teenager in a car accident. An older adult suffering from the ravages of age. A young adult losing the battle with cancer. The soldier blown apart in war. Dozens lost in a natural disaster. Victims of a robbery. A neighbor gone. The infant who survives only a few days. 

Death. It’s all around us. It comes swiftly sometimes, and at other times it lingers for weeks or months. It does not avoid the young or the old. It cares not whether one is male or a female, black or white, rich or poor. It aims its arrows at atheists, agnostics, and followers of any world faith — including Christianity. Should Jesus tarry His return to earth long enough, all of us will face this battle.

It’s a conflict marked by the hand of the enemy. In fact, the writer of Hebrews tells us that Satan is he “who holds the power of death—that is, the devil” (Heb 2:14). He is no match for God, and thus he cannot cause death apart from God’s permission, but he nevertheless continually seeks to destroy life. He would have killed Job had God allowed him, and Jesus later said he was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). More specifically, he enticed Adam and Eve into sin, and he lures you and me across that line that brings the judgment of death upon us (Rom 6:23). Death is a daily reminder that the influence of the enemy continues to march onward. 

Good news abounds, however: Jesus, the Son of God, the “radiance of God’s glory” (Heb 1:3), broke Satan’s power through His own death. Hebrew priests couldn’t do that. Kings didn’t have that authority. Moses had no such power, and the sacrifices he commanded ultimately could not dislodge death. Only through the shed blood of the perfect, spotless Lamb of God would death be dethroned; that is, Jesus conquered sin by His death, and He killed death by His resurrection. He is the “source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Heb 5:8).

Thus, God has "spoken to us by his Son” (Heb 1:2). When I remember that truth, the messages of the lying snake called Satan lose their power. 


  • Rejoice over Jesus’ victory over death. We’ve taken that action step several times this year, but we should never cease to be amazed at God’s plan. 
  • Be completely honest with God in prayer about your sin, knowing that Jesus has already faced and conquered the temptations you face (Heb 4:15).   

PRAYER: “I praise You, Jesus, for being greater than all.”      




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