08/31/T – A Matter of Life and Death

Lamentations 5:1-22; Hebrews 2:14-18; Psalms 102:23-28; Proverbs 22:13

NT: “Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through his death he might destroy the one holding the power of death — that is, the devil  —  and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. For it is clear that he does not reach out to help angels, but to help Abraham’s offspring. Therefore, he had to be like his brothers and sisters in every way, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in matters pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. For since he himself has suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.” (‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭2:14-18‬ ‭CSB)

For Christ’s great salvation to be complete and effective, He had to take on flesh and blood and become susceptible to all the things that we are susceptible to. When Adam was created by God, he was created without sin. He could be tempted to sin, but was initially without sin. When Adam fell for the devil’s temptation, he brought sin and death into the fabric of humanity. Christ was conceived into flesh and blood by the Holy Spirit and, just like Adam of old, was born without sin. He could be tempted to sin, but thankfully He did not give into the devil’s temptations. Because Christ was like us yet lived a sinless life, He and He alone was worthy to offer His life as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sin. Through His sinless life and death, we are now able to be set free from our slavery to sin and death to live a sin-free life forever with Him. Christ’s great salvation was a matter of Christ sacrificing His sinless life to rescue us from eternal death.

The role of the High Priest was to serve as a bridge of sorts between God and man. They served as mediators, representing mankind to God and relaying God’s word, will and ways back to mankind. Because Christ was just like us in every way (except without sin) He could fully understand us and represent us to God. Because He was completely free from sin, He could effectively stand before God and atone for our sin. Because Christ succeeded in living a sin-free life despite having all the limitations and susceptibilities of humanity, He is able to help us resist temptations and live according to the word, will and ways of God through the same power that He had access to. Because He lived, we can now (in this life) fully live in Him and not be afraid of death.

Psalms: “Long ago you established the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will endure; all of them will wear out like clothing. You will change them like a garment, and they will pass away. But you are the same, and your years will never end. Your servants’ children will dwell securely, and their offspring will be established before you.”” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭102:25-28‬ ‭CSB)

The writer of Hebrews actually quoted this passage from Psalm 102 in Hebrews 1:10-12. He did so to prove the eternal and unchanging nature of God – specifically God the Son. The psalmist knew that he would eventually die and would probably die before experiencing the fulfilled promises of God, but he had hope in the eternal and unchanging God that he worshiped. Though he would not fully experience God’s fulfilled promises, he knew that one day, his offspring would. Heaven and Earth are both creations of God and are sustained by the power of His word. The heaven and earth that exists today will eventually pass away. At the end of this age, a new heaven and new earth will be established. All created things grow old and pass away, but God (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit), the everlasting, eternal, un-created One will never change nor pass away. For those who have placed their faith in Christ, because they are in Christ, will never pass away and one day will either be resurrected or changed to rule and reign with Christ in the new heaven and earth forever. Though we may experience death, in Christ we will certainly experience eternal life.

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that you are not just an impersonal, unrelatable deity. Instead, You humbled Yourself to become just like me so that You could relate to me and save me completely. Thank You for giving Your life so that I could be saved from sin and death to live with You forever more. Because You lived a sinless and godly life, in You, I can now do the same. Help me, by Your Holy Spirit and Your word that dwells within me, to resist temptation and live the rest of my life in You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

%d bloggers like this: