Devotional for

Afraid of Death No More

John Piper

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, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14–15)

How does Christ deliver us from the fear of death and set us free to live with the kind of loving abandon that can “let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also”?

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood…

The term “children” is taken from the previous verse and refers to the spiritual offspring of Christ, the Messiah. These are also the “children of God.” In other words, in sending Christ, God has the salvation of his “children” especially in view.

he himself likewise partook of the same [flesh and blood]…

The Son of God, who existed before the incarnation as the eternal Word (John 1:1), took on flesh and blood and clothed his deity with humanity. He became fully man and remained fully God.

that through death…

The reason Christ became human was to die. As preincarnate God, he could not die for sinners. But united to flesh and blood, he could. His aim was to die. Therefore, he had to be born human.

he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil…

In dying, Christ defanged the devil. How? By covering all our sin (Hebrews 10:12). This means that Satan has no legitimate grounds to accuse us before God. “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:33). On what grounds does he justify? Through the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 9:14; Romans 5:9).

Satan’s ultimate weapon against us is our own sin. If the death of Jesus takes it away, the chief weapon the devil has is taken out of his hand. In that sense he is rendered powerless.

and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

So we are free from the fear of death. God has justified us. There is only future grace in front of us. Satan cannot overturn that decree. And God means for our ultimate safety to have an immediate effect on our lives. He means for the happy ending to take away the slavery and fear of the present.

From Future Grace, pages 354–356