“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…”
Jesus, the eternal Word, became human and thus subject to death. He was a man of flesh and blood, just like every one of us. He knew pain and sorrow and was subjected to the fallen world just as we are. This verse gives us the first of two reasons He did this. He came to rid the world of the power of evil by destroying the effect of death. Perhaps the most interesting statement in this verse is that the devil has the power of death.
It does not appear to me that he had that power inherently, but rather gained the power by introducing it through bringing sin to men. Once he did that and men continued to sin the power of death stayed in his hands. Jesus came to take that power away and did so by dying Himself, thus paying the penalty of death itself and removing it through His resurrection. Once Jesus left the grave and resumed human life, even for a small period of time, He took away the devil’s power, thus destroying him.
Keep in mind that death was the devil’s only hold on man, his only power. All else was limited by God, and Jesus ended the final power. The devil is still with us, but he can no longer threaten us with death for Jesus set us free from the power of death.
Task for Today: Since you are free in Jesus, live no longer as a slave, but as a free man. Give your allegiance to the one who set you free. If you are still in the evil one’s power change that today by accepting the free gift of life eternal from Jesus. Believe on Him who died in your place. Confess your trust in Him and turn away from the old way of life. Die and be buried and rise to a new life in baptism. Do it today.