Hebrews 2:14-15 (NIV) 14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too 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 — 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
With attacks and plagues that take many lives there is heightened fear of death and great efforts are taken to prevent them from happening again. It is in this fear that terror is given power and fulfilled purpose, because people willingly accept things they are told to do when made to believe it will prevent death from happening to them. While certain measures may be taken that may effectively inhibit death’s power in a specific area, there will always be a way for fear of it to enslave those who remain under its hold. There will always be those who will take lives and there will always be infectious diseases that shorten lives here on earth, because the one who has the power of death is still the god of this world. (2 Cor 4:4) For those who are yet alive, though, there will also be an opportunity, with these deaths, to either become slaves to a notion that what they are doing will prevent the inevitable, or actually live free from its bondage and far from death’s powerful terror through life in Christ. While it is a tragedy when any life is cut short through disease or murder, there is also a great tragedy when masses of people are kept from living out lives of fulfilled purpose and potential because of death’s power. It is by this power that whole nations have been bent to the will of dictators and authoritarian governments. People of great physical and mental gifts and abilities have been diminished to fulfilling the whims of power hungry slavemasters through the threat of what might happen to them or their loved ones. The presentation of hope for escape from death’s certainty comes with a hidden ball and chain for the freedoms it will contain.
While there may be temporary reprieve from actual threats to life here on earth, freedom from death’s fear and its power to enslave will never be removed by measures of men alone. As long as there is an end to life there will be a fear of that end that empowers means to prohibit it. With the death and resurrection of Jesus, however, we’ve been given eternal life. The brevity of this life loses its power to enslave with the overwhelming assurance that our true life can never be threatened by any weapon or disease. Rather than being driven by the power of death to succumb to feeble, freedom-removing attempts at preventing it, those who are set free in Christ are able to live the abundant life He came to give. It is in this freedom that our nation was born. Physical slavery was brought down because of those who were not enslaved by fear of death. Liberty from those things that not only end life but also constrain and bind it will come, not from the science driven methods that have no certainty or consistency. It will come with true freedom from the power of him who holds the power of death. It will come in complete liberation from death’s power through eternal life in Christ. The ways and means for freedom in all will come, not from death’s enslavement, but from a position over it, where its rule has been eradicated together with Christ in His resurrection.
(NIV) 14 “I will deliver this people from the power of the grave;
I will redeem them from death.
Where, O death, are your plagues?
Where, O grave, is your destruction?