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Through Death to Destroy Death

Daily Reading: Hebrews 2

Scripture Focus: Through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil. (Hebrews 2.14b)

Devotional Thought: Lana and I were watching television the other night and a commercial for the shingles vaccine came on. We looked at each other and decided as soon as we turn 60 we're going to get the vaccine. We've had too many friends who have gotten the shingles, and we know how bad it can get. We don't want anything to do with that disease! That conversation got me to thinking about how the vaccine works: by putting a weakened form of the shingles virus into our bodies, we then produce antibodies that will fight the virus. Doesn't that seem strange? Fight the disease with the disease. But it works!

That is exactly what Jesus did when he went to the cross to die for the sins of the world. He fought the disease with the disease. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus took Satan's worst weapon - death itself - and turned it back on him. For millennia, Satan had used sin and death to destroy people, but on that epoch day, 2000 years ago, the tables were turned!

According to Revelation 20.14, death is "thrown into the lake of fire" at the final judgment. Having used this weapon to defeat the kingdom of darkness, Jesus will then destroy the weapon itself. Death will no longer exist to threaten, to frighten, or to destroy.

"Death where is your sting? Death where is your victory? ... Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!"

Prayer: Worthy are you, Lord Jesus, to receive praise and honor and glory - for through your death you defeated death once and for all. You are the resurrection and the life, O Lord, and the one who believes in you will live forever! Amen!

Psalm of the Day: 10 For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others. 11 Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they called lands by their own names. 12 Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish. 13 This is the path of those who have foolish confidence; yet after them people approve of their boasts. Selah 14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning. Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell. 15 But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me. Selah (Psalms 49:10-15)

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