Wednesday, March 28

Purposes of Christ's Death: Hebrews 2:14-15

This is another reposting of a piece from the Purposes of Christ's Death series that I began shortly after I started blogging. You can find the other reposts from this series by clicking on the purposes of Christ's death label at the end of this post.

Today's purpose statement comes from Hebrews 2:14-15:
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he likewise shared in their humanity, so that through death he could destroy the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil), and set free those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death. (NET)
The purpose statement in this verse is actually a purpose statement for Christ's incarnation, but the purpose of the incarnation as given is so that Christ could accomplish something through his death. Christ became human just like we are "so that through death he could destroy the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil), and set free those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death." Christ had to be just like us and live our sort of life in order to represent us as our high priest and offer himself to God in our place (See verse 17.).

The purpose of this representative death is to defeat the devil. The text describes the devil as "the one who holds the power of death". It was Satan's influence that introduced death into creation, and he continues to work within the sphere of death, bringing about as much death as God allows. Christ's death nullifies Satan's deathly power, so that those who belong to Christ are freed from their subjection to Satan. They no longer are forced to live their lives in fear of death because, through Christ and his work, they have freedom from Satan's power and the hope of eternal life.

Another purpose of Christ's death is to take the power of death away from the devil and, in this way, set people free from their fear of death.

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