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—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
They say that people fear public speaking more than they fear death. I think they asked people who weren’t facing death.
We fear death because we fear God. We fear we will have to answer for cheating, misusing God’s name, being selfish, neglecting others in their need, wanting revenge on those who hurt us—and the list goes on. God demands absolute perfection from us and we’re afraid of what he’ll do when we must face him.
The devil has used this fear to enslave us. He tempts us to sin, and when we do, he taunts us with what it will be like to stand before the holy God as unholy people. He reminds us God sends sinners to hell.
Jesus did not want us to fear our God or where we spend eternity. The Son of God became a human being—sharing our humanity. As a fully human person, Jesus lived in perfect obedience to God. When Jesus died on the cross, he wasn’t dying for his own sins; he had none. He was dying for all our sins. When his blood covered our sins, his blood also covered our reason to fear death.
Unless the end of the world comes first, all of us will die. Either way, we will face God. Yet when we face God, we have nothing to fear. God will not condemn us because Jesus shared our humanity to take away our sin. With no sin, the devil has no power over us. We are going to heaven because the Son of God became the Son of man to save us. Trusting in Jesus, fear of death is replaced with assurance of life with God forever.
Tonight, Christians around this world gather together to taste Jesus’ gift to us. They will eat bread and drink wine. Jesus promises that in this simple meal, he gives us forgiveness for all our sins. He gives us proof that he died to free us from our slavery to sin and death. If you are one of these Christians going to the Lord’s Supper tonight, think of the deep mystery you became a part of. You are receiving the body and blood of your God who gave his life for you. Here is the proof you never need to fear death.
Son of God, thank you for sharing our humanity so we would never have to fear death, our God, or our future. Amen.
The devotions in March on Thursday and Friday focus on the office of Jesus Christ: Prophet, Priest, and King.
Source: WELS Devotions