For me, this is one of the most power packed and theologically filled scriptures I know:
“Since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He 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, ESV)
In this one sentence, we find the root of virtually every encumbrance in life.
Death chases us all. It lurks at the back of our minds. We feel it with every ache and pain. It is a constant reminder to get as much as we can, do as much as you can, and experience as much as you can.
To understand its power even better, we must realize that the fear of death is far more than being afraid to die. Death’s grip imprisons us in this life! Its power lies in its ability to produce in every person a desperation – a drive to eke out of this existence as much self-affirming meaning as possible. It backs us into a corner and forces us to fight for control and manipulation of every circumstance.
Once we believe in Christ, though, the curse of this hound of hell is broken. “The fear of death” loses its power; it has no influence. We are set free to be and to act without the constraints of this existence alone.
This is the power of the gospel. In Christ, our lives are no longer bookended by birth and death. Our meaning is not limited to what I achieve in this life alone. My happiness is no longer defined by every outcome. We have the true joy of salvation – life abundant, both now and forevermore.
So…let the gospel have its way with you, today – your divine story is truly a forever story unfolding!