The True Weapon Against Death

  • Jeff Crotts
Sword with a gold pommel

The fallen human condition naturally fights against whatever threatens to enslave it. The whole human race is made up of people winning and or losing in life to varying degrees all the time. People fight to be on the winning side. The most significant battle that humanity rages is against death because death has enslaved humanity since and because of Adam’s original sin in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:1–15). People will don a variety of weapons in an attempt to defeat death, mask the reality of death, or even deny the existence of death. Humanity is imprisoned by the reality of death and has no choice but to fear it. It gets even worse.  Because humanity is blinded to the truth of the gospel, they are even blinded to the true nature of death. Second Corinthians 4 reveals an even more dismal reality of mankind’s blindness to death, they are kept blinded to the true problem of death and the true solution to death by their greatest enemy: Satan.  

…in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor 4:3–4). 

Satan is exposed as the culprit who keeps unbelievers blind to their slavery and blind from the saving power of Christ. Hebrews 2:14–18 reveals the powerful weapon that lies behind Satan’s work: Death. As long as Satan has people blinded to their slavery to death, he has victory over their souls. At the same time, these verses illuminate Jesus as the victor over death. Here we see how the Person and the work of Jesus is the victor over death. Let’s look at how Hebrews points us to Jesus, the True Victor over the true reality of death.   

Satan has True Power Over Death 

“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,” (Hebrews 2:14) 

Our greatest enemy is the Devil (vs. 14). We should know this, but it is very easy to relegate him to a mythical character who we believe is real as far as the bible says he is but do not truly embrace that he has any meaningful influence in our lives. Satan excels at disguising himself as an “angel of light” (2 Cor 11:14). He wants us to think he is harmless, but God says otherwise. He is the Prince of Darkness (Eph 2:2) scheming against anything righteous going on inside of your mind. He wants nothing more than to rob you of joy by enslaving you to your sin! Satan is anything but harmless. He wields a weapon called “death” and his goal is to keep people spiritually dead in sin until they can physically die so they will remain eternally dead. 

That Satan wields the power of death is daunting. When Satan seduced man to sin and to rebel against God, humanity reaped what Adam earned. Romans 6:23 informs us that the wages of sin is death. Satan wields this weapon in which he enslaves humanity and is not timid to use it. I think we can look around today and see that Satan’s strategy is working quite well for him. Satan is content as long as people blindly trust in their own weapons against death (2 Cor 4:4). Satan has a daunting, genuine, and true power over death. Humanity helplessly fights against this formidable foe and wields three useless weapons against it: health, wealth, freedom. 

Jesus’ True Humanity Triumphed Over Death 

Christians have a secret weapon against death. This weapon is a Person named Jesus. He is the One who frees from what enslaves you and frees you to live a life of true meaning and purpose. Hebrews 2:14–18 draws our attention to the only true weapon against being enslaved to death, namely, The Person and work of Jesus on the cross. 

After exposing Satan as the culprit having power over death, the author immediately moves the spotlight to the true humanity of Jesus as essential in His death blow against death. Surely that He is truly divine is essential to His victory, but this passage illuminates the necessity of His true humanity and the hope it gives Christians. 

To destroy Satan, Jesus “partook” something completely foreign to himself, namely, “flesh and blood” (v. 14). Believers (i.e. ‘children’) “share in flesh and blood” meaning this is what they have in common with each other. Prior to taking on full and true humanity, Jesus made a conscious decision to take on what wasn’t naturally his own kind. But why did Jesus need to take on a second nature; a nature that was foreign to His divine nature? It’s because Jesus came to die! The only way to “destroy…the devil” is to take away the power of death” and the only way to take away death’s power is by the death of someone who is truly human. The language of truly human includes the idea that Jesus is 100% fully human. 

That Jesus is truly human prepares us to understand the significance of the next verse in Hebrews 2:15. Even though Satan’s fiery arrows are still alive today, we can be strong in the face of the temptation to fear death. We must know and cling to this incredible benefit of Jesus’ victory over death, namely, that He continues to be our weapon against the fear of death. We also need to understand the true reality of death. Satan blinds humanity to this reality, but Christ shines through Satan’s shroud of darkness.

Stay tuned for how Christ has delivered us from the true reality of death next week.


Authored by Jeff Crotts

Editor: Brian Overholtzer