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:: Tuesday, March 11, 2003 ::

Today's reading from Hebrews 2:11 - 18 has a lot to say. Some of the most powerful Christological statements of all of scripture are here. Some thoughts contained in this passage:

1. Jesus shared in our flesh and blood. If he did not, then we are not saved.
2. Jesus really died; his death destroyed the devil and the devil's power of death.
3. This saved all of us who were enslaved by the fear of death.
4. Since he suffered, he can help us in our sufferings.

In this season of Lent, as we focus on the cross, with all of its suffering, we discover that even in that suffering there is Good News. Jesus' suffering was redeemed - made beneficial, not destructive. In his death he destroyed the control that death has over each human being from the moment of conception. Elsewhere Paul states that all are slaves to sin. Perhaps, then, we are slaves to sin, which leads to death, because we all fear death. Our mortality is the condition common to all human beings that puts each one of us in the need of Christ's saving work.

Our mortality drives so much of what we do. The American obsession with youth seems to be a particular manifestation of this. A lot of our sinful behavior stems from some level of self-preservation - whatever it may be. Perhaps the fear of death is not the primary reason behind every wrongful act or thought; but it does drive much of what we do.

The Good News that Jesus Christ proclaims to us is this: by his death we do not any longer have to fear death. It no longer has any power over us. In Jesus Christ we have been given "new and unending life." We will all still die; yet all of us who are disciples of Jesus Christ can now welcome death since it now permits God to raise us from the dead to the fullness of eternal life.

:: Matt 3/11/2003 12:02:00 AM :: permalink :: ::
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