When I read the Christmas story, the angels say, “Do not fear!! I bring you good news of great joy for all people!” And when you read that in the book of Luke, you get the feeling that their words were meant for more than just a few shepherds…they were meant for us too. There is something in the Advent of Jesus – there’s something in the beauty of his incarnation that is attending to the problems of fear and death and fear of death.
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, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. Hebrews 2:14-15
So, how does the arrival of Jesus deal with the problems of fear and death?
- Every fear works because it is governed by the fear of death, and living in fear is slavery (Hebrews 2:15).
- But Jesus has come to rob fear and death of their power by taking death into himself (Hebrews 2:14).
The incarnation of Jesus turns fear into confidence, slavery into freedom, and death into life. Jesus has taken the devil’s primary weapon (death) and turned it back on the devil himself. He has turned fear into confidence, slavery into freedom, and death into life. He has reversed the curse of the impersonal, unholy trinity of fear, slavery, and death. Now there is assurance, liberation, and life in him. So, how should we respond to this? Hebrews 2:14-15 is an invitation to rely on and believe Jesus instead of ourselves. It’s a call to trust and obey Jesus and not ourselves. Now we can “approach the throne of grace with confidence, knowing we will receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). That's good news for us at Christmas, both now and forever!
*We are a church located in Greenville, South Carolina. Our vision is to see God transform us into a community of grace passionately pursuing life and mission with Jesus.*
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Written by Jim Thompson