Friday, March 25, 2016

Breaking the Powers

https://www.flickr.com/photos/fusion_of_horizons/6155185976/
In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.

So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:10-15)
Sons and daughters. Brothers and sisters. God is intensely interested in his children — his family. He is not ashamed to call us sons and daughters but desires to bring us into the full experience and participation of his glory.

Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters. He came to set us free, and it is for this reason that God became a man. It was necessary that he fully share in our humanity, to become mortal flesh and experience death, so that by the life and power of God he might overcome death for us all. His death, then, became the means by which the power of the devil, the power and fear of death, was broken.

Death was not a retaliatory judgment of God on the sin of man but the natural consequence of man turning away from life. It was the devil who tempted man to sin, to rebel and turn away from God, the very source of life. When life is rejected, what else is left except death? So here is another reason why Jesus needed to become a man.
For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:17-18)
Jesus knows exactly what it is like to go through trials and tests and temptations. He experienced them at their most fundamental level yet remained faithful throughout, even to the point of death. And having suffered such things himself, he is well able to help us in our time of testing. He has, in a word, broken the power of sin.

Here, then, is the reason for Good Friday and the Cross: It is where the Lord Jesus broke the powers — the power of sin, the power of the devil and the power of death. And having broken the powers, he is able to reconcile us back to God, by the blood of the cross, and breathe new life — his life — into us by the Holy Breath of God.