Jump Start # 2815
Hebrews 2:14 “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”
Coming off of the Easter weekend, when the religious community takes a look at an empty grave, we remember the precious death of our Savior and our Lord. Our verse today reminds us of two powerful truths about the death of Jesus.
First, He died, as we will die. It’s not so much the cause of death, or the circumstances that led up to death, but the fact that He breathed His last, as we too will one day. And, the remarkable aspect about this is that Jesus didn’t avoid death. He didn’t tell us that He’d meet us on the other side, while He Himself never died. Not at all. He died. He was buried. And, He arose. Jesus never asks us to do something that He first hasn’t done Himself. His goodness, service, perfection, obedience, God focused heart all demonstrate and leave footprints of what is expected of us. The steps of a true leader are not to shout out orders and send people to do what he doesn’t want to do. A true leader leads. Jesus was not beyond dying. And, in His death, we are reminded that He understands and He knows. As we face that door of death, our Savior has already passed through it. Our prayers at that time are not only heard, but they are felt by one who has faced what we face.
Second, our verse today also reveals that the death of Jesus and His resurrection was truly a death blow to Satan. It was the bruising of the Lord’s heel, but it was the crushing of Satan’s head. The devil’s greatest prison is death. All people head there and there is no getting around it. That is, until Jesus. The Lord blew the doors off of that prison cell by His glorious resurrection. Up from the grave He arose and with that, Satan was without any more powers or weapons. He had thrown his hardest pitch and Christ smacked it out of the ballpark. Jesus had to die in order to be resurrected. And, those steps remind us that we too will be raised one day. The grave doesn’t hold us. The cemetery doesn’t have the final word. There is no “The End,” to our story. We shall live on and on. The day of death will come for us, but we face it not in fear and trembling. Our Lord has already gone through that door. It is only a door and it is necessary for us to pass through it in order to be with the Lord on the other side. The finality of death, the fear of death, the frustration with death, are all removed through the resurrection of Jesus.
Could Jesus have defeated Satan without death and resurrection? Yes, in a way, because God is all powerful. He is not co-equal with Satan. There is not a cosmic battle seeing who is the greatest. The Lord is. The Lord has always been. So, in one aspect, yes, Christ could have defeated Satan without death. However, there would have been no example for us and the fear of death would linger above us. There would have been no perfect sacrifice to redeem us. The death was necessary. Jesus lives. And, we know that we too will live. We are not physical bodies that happen to have a soul. We are spirits that happen to be wrapped in a physical body. We are made to be with God. The death of Jesus shows us that for believers, it will be ok.
And, what awaits us on the other side, is a wonderful world with the Lord that will not end and a world that Satan is not invited to. Once we pass through that door, we are finished with Satan. We are finished with this physical realm. We are finished with struggles, pain and sorrow.
It is troubling to see so many brethren fear the subject of death. We preach about Heaven. We sing about Heaven. We want to be in Heaven, and yet, when one of us gets to pass through that doorway of death, you’d think it’s the worst thing that could ever happen. Sure, we will miss each other. Tears of love are natural and right. But the despair, the feeling of loss and emptiness should not be found within our hearts. One of us got home safely and they will never leave again. They are where they are supposed to be. A course has been completed. A race has been won. A battle has become victorious. Safe in the arms of Jesus.
And, all of this was made possible because Jesus first died and rose again. This is why His death is remembered, not once, every Spring, but every Sunday. Believers remember that death and believers know that He arose. And, those same steps will be taken by us one day.