Hebrews 2:14 (NIV84)
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—
I admit it. I am a coward. When it comes to scary movies, I want no part of them. Give me sports, give me drama, action, romantic comedy, I would rather watch a documentary on a quilting convention than a horror film. And I think at least part of the reason that I dislike them is that I realize that there are truly horrible things in this world. And there is also a horrible cause.
As scary as a horror movie may be, the writer to the Hebrews talks about some of the most frightening things that we can ever imagine. He is talking about death and sin, and the power of the devil. These are not things to dismiss or laugh off. The devil is real and he holds the power of death. The chances that you and I will die one day is still 100%. Unless the Lord returns before that day, you and I will one day breathe our last breath.
But I believe the author here is talking about more than the eventual end of our heartbeats. He is talking about the ultimate horror—spiritual death in hell. The devil is all about death—he wants us to experience hell. He wants our souls to die. There can be no greater enemy of humanity and no greater horror than being eternally separated from God.
But even in the scariest of movies, someone has to have the courage to take on the enemy. Jesus had that courage. But in order to defeat the devil, Jesus also had to take on something else first. “He shared in their humanity,” the writer to the Hebrews says. We have a Savior who did not look at our plight from on high and sadly shake his head at our condition. We have a Savior who got dirty and bloody and fierce in his fight against the devil. But for every temptation that the devil threw at him, Jesus never failed, Jesus never gave in. And then in one great act of sacrifice at Calvary’s cross, Jesus set us free from the devil’s power. He can’t touch us. He can’t have us. We are safe.
Sometimes scary things still happen in life. And I guess sometimes people still like to scare themselves too. But you and I have Jesus. He took on flesh and blood to save us. And he has defeated our greatest enemy. Through Jesus, we have nothing to fear.
PRAYER: He sent no angel to our race, Of higher or of nobler place, But wore the robe of human frame, And to this world himself he came. For us baptized, for us he bore His holy fast and hungered sore; For us temptation sharp he knew, For us the tempter overthrew. Amen. (Christian Worship, 371, v.2,3)