Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he likewise shared in their humanity, so that through death he could destroy the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil),
[Heb 2:14 NET]
By his sufferings, blood shedding and death, our gracious Lord not only made a complete atonement for sin, fulfilled every demand of the law, washed his people from all their iniquities in the fountain of his precious blood, and wrought out and brought in a perfect and everlasting righteousness for their justification, but “through death destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” It was by the death of the cross that the gracious Lord “spoiled principalities and powers, and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” It is a point little considered, though one of much importance, that the Lord Jesus had, as if personally, to grapple with and overcome the prince of the power of the air, to hurl Satan from his usurped throne, to destroy his works, and overthrow his kingdom; and this not by an act of omnipotent power, but by an act of the lowest weakness, for “he was crucified through weakness.”
According to our simple views, we might think that all that was needed to overthrow Satan was an act of omnipotent power. But this was not God’s way. The king over all the children of pride, in the depths of infinite wisdom, was to be dethroned by an act of the deepest humility, of the most meek and submissive obedience, of the intensest suffering of God’s own beloved Son, as standing in the place of those over whom Satan and death had triumphed through sin. We read that “the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy (literally, ‘loosen’ or ‘untie’) the works of the devil.” Thus he came, not only to untie and undo all that Satan had fastened and done by traversing, as it were, the whole ground, from the first entrance of sin and death, and, by a course of holy and meritorious obedience, repair the wreck and ruin produced by the primary author of all disobedience, but, as the final stroke, to destroy and put down the disobedient and rebellious prince of darkness himself.
The sprinkled blood that speaks of something better than Abel’s does.
[Heb 12:24 NET]
“Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” The Lamb who was killed. For the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sins. So when he came into the world, he said, “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me. By his will we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
But Abel brought some of the firstborn of his flock – even the fattest of them. And the Lord was pleased with Abel and his offering. Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.
Let us draw near with a sincere heart in the assurance that faith brings, because we have had our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. Therefore, brothers and sisters, … we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus.
[John 1:29, Rev 13:8, Heb 10:4-5, Heb 10:10, Gen 4:4, Eph 5:2, Heb 10:22, Heb 10:19]
Woe to you experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You devour widows’ property, and as a show you pray long prayers! Therefore you will receive a more severe punishment.
[Matt 23:14 NET]
Usually we see the gentle phases of Christ’s character and teaching. He is compassionate toward suffering and sorrow. He is so gentle that He will not break a bruised reed nor quench a dimly burning wick.
But here we see Him in a severe and stern aspect. He speaks to the Pharisees in scathing denunciation. They taught the truths of God, but did not live them. They made great display of devoutness, but it was only that men might think them religious.
The Master’s arraignment of the Pharisees was terribly severe. But the same lips uttered these woes that uttered the Beatitudes and the gracious invitations to the weary and the heavy–laden.
Christ is holy as well as loving. Penitence is welcomed to His feet, but hypocrisy is denounced. In the last verses of this chapter we see both aspects. He arraigns Jerusalem for the murder of the prophets and the rejection of heaven’s messengers, and then tells how He would have gathered the people in love, but they would not.
But remember the former days when you endured a harsh conflict of suffering after you were enlightened.
[Heb 10:32 NET]
Our boldness for God before the world must always be the result of individual dealing with God in secret. Our victories over self, and sin, and the world, are always first fought where no eye sees but God’s…. If we have not these secret conflicts, well may we not have any open ones. The outward absence of conflict betrays the inward sleep of the soul.
~ F. Whitfield ~