Friday, October 9, 2009

Delivered from life long slavery

Hebrews 2:14-18 (ESV)
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, [15] and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. [16] For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. [17] Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. [18] For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

“And deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” Lifelong slavery, the human condition without Christ. Fearing death doesn’t really do anything for you. It seems to be quite a natural thing. But it is about as natural as death itself, which is to say not at all natural. God did not plan for us to die. Death is unnatural, yet it looms over us all. We all know that at some point we will breath our last on this earth. The knowledge and fear of this leads to all sorts of pain. I think about all the decisions we make with this in mind. We want to ride a motorcycle down the coast, and would even enjoy the wind blowing through our hair. But it is dangerous so we don’t do it, or we put on a helmet. We would really like to have that piece of pie, but it isn’t good for us. So we don’t eat it. We torture ourselves with diets. We join gymns. We spend inordinate amounts of money on health care etc.
Of course there is an aspect, actually quite Epicurean, that some of these things may increase the quality of life we live now. I mean I have a gym membership, not so much because I want to try live longer, but live better. I enjoy hunting chukar. I don’t enjoy being winded walking up the mountain. Staying in shape makes chukar hunting more enjoyable for me.
But it is fear of death that makes us slaves of the law, and slaves of sin. Two sides of the same coin, and death gets you coming and going. There is no avoiding it. Fear drives some to flight, they think they can do it by living out the law. Others to fight, they think there best bet is to rebel against the law. Fear of death, the shackles of slavery. He who sins is a slave to sin. Sin comes in many forms. The Gospel comes in one. Jesus Christ who died on the cross to deliver us from the fear of death that binds us in life long slaver. He became a propitiation for the sins of the people. He became like us in everyway, except for sin, that he would be this propitiation, suffering when tempted. He is our help in time of need. He is our life and salvation.

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