“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is,
the devil.” Hebrew 2:14 (KJV)
How appropriate that Lenten season 2018 would begin on Valentine’s Day. What greater love have we experienced as believers than the extravagant and unconditional love of God the Father. For while I was yet in my sin, Christ died for me–the ungodly (Rom. 5:6-8) and now I rest in the blessed assurance that there is nothing that can separate me from that love (Rom. 8:39). What a sweet valentine of love we have received from the Father.
That’s why Lenten season is a perfect time to reciprocate the love that God has shown by giving Him a token of my love-the gift of sacrifice. In addition, Lent is a time of contemplation and reflection about God’s plan of salvation. Just as the birth of Christ was orchestrated by God, so it was with His crucifixion and glorious resurrection (Genesis 3:15).
God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) fashioned a plan whereby “He Himself” would become human and finally resolve the problem of sin. But why did this plan require Christ to take on flesh and blood?
- So that Christ could satisfy the “righteous requirements” of the law (Romans 8:4). The Mosaic Law demanded that blood be shed, in the form of an animal sacrifice for the “forgiveness of sin” (Hebrews 9:22). This process of sacrifice was repeated continuously, generation after generation, until Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice (Hebrews 9:23-28).
- So that Christ would be able to share in our humanity. He would be able to understand our weaknesses and temptations. As a partaker of flesh and blood, He “might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people” (Hebrew 2:17).
- So that Christ might defeat Satan and free believers from sin’s power (Romans 6:6-7). It is in the destruction of Satan’s power that we are able to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). It is in Satan’s defeat that we are able to live victoriously in and for Christ.
God’s salvation does not require us to lay down our physical life for Him but God does ask us to die, spiritually, to the control which our flesh, the world and Satan exert upon us (Rom. 6:11). The apostle Peter reaffirmed this thought in his letter to God’s elect.
“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin), so as to live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God” (1 Peter 4: 1-2, NRSV).
This Lenten season become partakers of God’s “flesh and blood”-experience Him in all His fullness. Return to God your “love expression” by giving fully of you.
TIME TO RESPOND
Begin this time in prayer inviting Jesus to join you. Read Hebrews 2:14-16 aloud and note words or phrases that “catch your attention”. Read it a second time. Feel free to use a different translation or paraphrase. This time note “what emotions you may feel” in reading this passage. Read it a third and final time. This time ask Jesus what He wants “you to know personally about Him” based on this Scripture.