(Article for publication week of 8-20- AD 2015)
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have no reason to fear death because our Lord Jesus Christ has destroyed the devil, who had the power of death. By His Own death, burial and resurrection our Dear Saviour has triumphed over the devil and made and open spectacle of him (Colossians 2:15).
First let us consider how Christ has destroyed the devil. We know that He has not annihilated him, because he still goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8). Nor will the devil ever be annihilated, for he will be consciously tormented in the lake of fire forever along with all the fallen angels and all unsaved people (Revelation 20:10). But Christ has destroyed the devil by making his works null and void. I John 3:8 tells us "for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." Christ has saved His people from their fallen state and the bondage of sin of which the devil was the first perpetrator.
Secondly, let us consider in what sense the devil has the power of death. We know that he does not have power to kill any human being at his own leisure. The power of life and death is solely in the hands of our sovereign God (Deuteronomy 32:39). Dear reader, you will not die one second before your appointed time. It is in God that you live and move and have your being. All things are held together by God (Colossians 1:17), including your life. Job chapters one and two make it plain that the devil has to get permission from God before he can turn a tap. As Martin Luther said, "the devil is the devil, but he is God's devil." God created Lucifer (Colossians 1:16)for His own glorious purposes and He uses him just as He pleases. But the devil had the power of death by his part in the fall of man. Our Lord said in John 8:44 that the devil was a "murderer from the beginning." The devil first rebelled against God himself (Isaiah 14:14), and then led man into rebellion. The devil tempted Eve and Adam, and they sinning brought death upon themselves and their posterity (Romans 5:12). The devil still holds power over all unregenerate men so that they are under the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13), and are dead in trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1). So you see the devil has the power of death in leading people into sin that damns and brings death spiritually, physically and eternally, But Christ has destroyed him and his works.
Thirdly, let us see how Christ accomplished this great work. It was by becoming a partaker of flesh and blood. The Lord Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16). As my dear brother in Christ, Elder Jeff Pollard said, "the Son of God became the Son of man that sons of men would become sons of God"! God cannot die, so He became a weak and frail man as we are so that he could die on a Roman cross for sinners like you and me. The Lord Jesus Christ destroyed the devil and his works by his atoning death. So death has no lasting power upon the children of God.
Dear child of God, you have no reason to fear death because Christ has bruised the serpent's head (Genesis 3:15). Satan is a defeated foe. Although he still vexes us and annoys us (as God permits him for His Own purposes), he has no power of death over us. And the day is coming when God will deal him the final blow and put him out of business forever (Romans 16:20). May the Lord grant you peace in believing this precious gospel.