Notes on Hebrews 2:14-16


Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same1; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death2, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage3. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham4.

  • 1 John 1:14, Col 2:9, 1 Tim 3:16
  • 2 1 John 3:8, Gen 3:15, Rom 16:20
  • 3 Col. 1:13, 2 Tim 1:7, 1 Cor 15:55
  • 4 Matt 3:9, Matt 8:11, Gal 3:7, 3:9, 3:29

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same

  • These verses expand on what has just been said about Christ as our brother
    • Verse 11 teaches us that Christ is not ashamed to call those he has sanctified brothers
    • vss 12-13 quote OT prophecies from Psalms and Isaiah to show the Messiah calling his elect brothers
  • In the larger context, the author continues to explain why the Lord of angels was made for a time ‘a little lower than the angels’ (2:7)
  • Forasmuch then… – (ἐπεὶ οὖν) Means: therefore, since, etc. A conclusion is being drawn from the Old Testament verses that have just been cited
  • If the sanctified are flesh and blood, the Sanctifier must be so also.
    • As man forfeited the righteousness of God in falling to temptation; that righteousness had to be merited by a Man who would overcome temptation
    • As man merited a great debt of sin, a Man satisfied infinite justice
  • If He is to make us like Him, He first had to make Himself like us
  • It is a great comfort to us that our Saviour has Himself suffered hunger, thirst, temptation, sorrow, fatigue, and pain – “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Is 53:3).
  • He…took part – He actively and voluntarily condescended in His incarnation.
    • Those who mock penal substitutionary atonement as “child abuse” are blind fools.
    • Christ was not passive in his incarnation – He took it on Himself

    that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil

  • Q: Why did Christ take our frail human nature upon Himself? A: That he might destroy the works of the devil (1 Jn 3:8).
  • The very first gospel preaching in the Bible describes our Lord’s work as crushing the head of Satan (Gen 3:15, Rom 16:20)
  • For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jn 3:8)
  • The worst tragedy of human history is the ultimate triumph of good over evil
    1. What does it mean that the devil has the “power of death“?
    2.  

      Inasmuch as the Devil is the one who brought about the downfall of our first parents, by which sentence of death has been passed upon all their posterity (Rom. 5:12); inasmuch as he goeth about as a roaring lion “seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8); inasmuch as he challenged God to inflict upon the guilty the sentence of the law (Zech. 3:1); and, inasmuch as even the elect of God are, before their regeneration, under “the power of darkness” (Col. 1:13 and cf. Acts 26:18), dead in trespasses and sins, yet “walking according to the Prince of the power of the air”; the Devil may be said to have “the power of death.”
      (AW Pink)

    3. What does it mean that Christ has destroyed the devil?
      • The word “destroy” is translated from: καταργέω
      • According to Thayer, καταργέω means: to render idle, unemployed, inactivate, inoperative, to cause a person or thing to have no further efficiency, to deprive of force, influence, power
      • Satan has no power or influence over those who are in Christ – Satan’s power is sin (1 Cor 15:56), and sin brings death (Rom 3:23). Christ has borne away the penalty for sin, so Satan now has no power over those for whom Christ died (Rom 8:31-33).
      • Satan is roaming around like a ferocious lion (1 Pet 5:8), but he may be resisted by those who have faith (Ja 4:7)
      • Satan’s power cannot overcome the Kingdom of Christ, but he still blinds the eyes of non-believers (2 Cor 4:4)
      • Satan’s power over the church was destroyed at the cross, and at Christ’s appearing, he and his kingdom will be destroyed forever (Rev 20:10)
  • The power of Satan is death; and Christ overcame death BY death
  • “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Cor 15:54)

deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

  • “God hath not given us the spirit of fear…” (2 Tim 1:7)
  • “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor 15:55)
  • The fear of death is the fear of The Judgement (Rev 6:15-16)

For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

  • It is not angels (1:4), but the fallen children of Abraham that are the objects of God’s love in the incarnation and death of Christ
  • Fallen angels have no redemption (Jude 6)
  • Christ took on human flesh, thus dignifying his people
  • Man was made in the image of God, the Son of God was made in the likeness of man (but without sin) – “God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom 8:3)
  • A hint at sovereign grace:
  • …it also plainly teaches the absolute sovereignty of [divine grace]. Christ lays hold not of “the seed of Adam,” all mankind, but only “the seed of Abraham”—the father of God’s elect people.
    (AW Pink)

  • seed of Abraham – Matt 3:9, Matt 8:11, Gal 3:7, 3:9, 3:29

Summary:

  1. Satan wields the power of sin over fallen man
  2. Sin brings death
  3. Christ has overcome death by death and destroyed the power of sin and Satan
  4. The people for whom Christ died (Abraham’s seed) are no longer under the domain of sin and Satan
Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Notes on Hebrews 2:14-16

  1. great post. yes God chose Abram primarily as a verifiable conduit through genealogies to show the humanness of the God-man (see Luke’s genealogy which connects Christ to Adam which the last portion is Mary’s). This is why I believe the key passage of the Bible is Gen. 3.15d since it gives the thesis of redemption. To think, as some commentators, that in this crucial point God is speaking of natural hazards of snakes is really preposterous. The seed of Abraham reference connects to the promise of the “seed of the woman”.

      • I preached through Hebrews some years ago. This sermon on 2:16a (in the context of 2:5-18) was a break in my series on Acts for the celebration.of the Incarnation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s