March 16, 2024

Jesus Breaks the Power of the Devil

Hebrews 2:14-18

He . . . shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of 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.

—  Hebrews 2:14-15

In the beginning, when the first human beings brought sin into the world (Genesis 3), we became enslaved by the power of death—and that put us under the tyranny of the devil.

But that is not the end of the story. Ever since that time, God also promised to redeem us. In other words, God would somehow pay our debt of sin and free us to live as he intended. And one day Jesus, God’s Son, accomplished that for us. As the apostle John put it, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8). Jesus willingly laid down his life, giving himself over to death because death was the payment for sin. As Romans 6:23 puts it, “The wages of sin is death.” What’s more, Satan held us captive by the power of death because we had fallen for his temptation. And by falling into sin, we became subject to the curse of death.

Jesus, however, did not fall for Satan’s lies. Jesus remained sinless. So when he gave his own life to pay for our sin, the devil could not hold Jesus in his grasp. Jesus broke through the power of death with new life. He conquered death. He annulled the binding contract that subjected us to Satan’s power. He gave the devil his due—a perfect human life, and that ransom payment set us free, bringing us back to enjoy life with God the Father forever.

Jesus, thank you for redeeming us from the power of Satan. Help us to live for you. Amen.

About the author — Kent Van Til

Kent Van Til was a missionary in Costa Rica. He taught theological ethics both there and in the USA. He is the author of four books. The most recent is a spiritual biography of his grandmother entitled, "A Name for Herself: A Dutch Immigrant's Story." Kent likes to fish, hunt, make music, and entertain his grandchildren.

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