December 21 (Daily reading: Hebrews 1-6) Hebrews 2:14-15 is a great Christmas text! It perfectly explains the reason for the incarnation, or the coming of Jesus to live in the flesh on the earth as a man. “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.”
Since humans are flesh and blood, Jesus came in like form to identify with them. He was “tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (4:15). He shared their experience, He needed oxygen, sleep, food, and water. He was restricted by His humanity, which means He was subject to the law of gravity, and He could only be in one place at a time. He was fully human. And “as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8).
The key to all of this is “yet without sin.” That is the only reason He could “destroy the one who has the power of death” (Satan), and “free those who…were subject to slavery.” Satan and his hold over believing humanity was destroyed when Christ walked out of His tomb. Hear Paul on the perfect Son of God: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin in our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). And Peter said we are redeemed by “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet. 1:19). The end result of all this: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast” (6:19).
– Al Gary