Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hebrews 2.10-18 Conquering Fear of Death

KEY TEXT: Hebrews 2:14-15 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, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

KEY THOT: Jesus conquered death by dying our death so that through him, we may not taste death but have life after life. In dying our death, Jesus destroyed the devil and his power of death. Through the fear of death, the devil has subjected everyone to a lifelong slavery to his domain that is mired by sicknesses, sins and spiritual deceptions. But for those who put their trust in Christ, death has lost its sting: "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:56-57). Death has been defeated because sin has been destroyed!

Jesus himself has declared: "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die" (John 11:25-26). Yes, even though we may still die physically, we won't cease to exist. In fact, death is no longer the terminal of life but the transition between life. At death, we transit from temporal life to eternal life. The soul of the redeemed has already been infused with the eternal life of God the moment the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in it at regeneration. Death is now a doorway into life with Christ in paradise. So Jesus exhorted us thus: "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28-29).

So we already have eternal life and our body is just our outer tent which we will shed at death to await the new resurrection body: "For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee" (2 Corinthians 5:4-5).

For many, this present mortal body is burdened with diseases, debilities and deformities. This is but a temporary state. Paul affirms that this mortal and imperfect tent will be replaced by the immortal and perfect tent so "what is mortal may be swallowed up by life." The Spirit who now indwells in us is our guarantee that we shall be sustained with resurrection life after passing through death's door.

What a glorious hope we have--in this life we have abundant life marked by righteousness, peace and joy. And in the world to come resurrection life in the new heaven and the new earth with resurrection body! To God be the glory! Great things He has done! 

Father, what a glorious privilege we have in Christ. Not only is death defeated and overcome, we have the hope of resurrection life when all is over. Amen.

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