Hebrews 2:10-11. 9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the champion of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers.
Hebrews 2:14-15. 14 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, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
Do you remember the story of David and Goliath? If you grew up going to church or Sunday school you probably do. Young shepherd boy David is sent by his Father to the battlefront to take lunch to his older brothers. When David arrives he finds the entire Israelite army frozen with fear. Why? Because Goliath, the gigantic champion of the Philistines, has challenged Israel to a deadly duel. Send out your greatest champion to face me. Winner take all. Whichever champion survives, that army wins the entire battle.
You know the rest of the story. David faces Goliath, slingshots him in the head, and becomes Israel’s champion, rescuing his brothers (and all Israel) from the fear of death at the hands of their terrifying enemy.
No, you’re not David. No, this will not be about facing your giants.
The story of David and Goliath is actually a preview of a far greater champion. A greater champion who faced a greater enemy, and brought a greater victory for his brothers and sisters.
When God created mankind, he did it with a view of humanity ruling the Earth, crowned with glory and honor, as his image bearers. His children. His sons and daughters living free from all fear. Free from all sin. Free from all death. But when God’s children rebelled against him in the garden, and sin entered into humanity’s hearts, the Devil seized the power of the fear of death and has used it to hold us in slavery to that fear ever since.
And so God, in order to rescue his family, sent the better David, his eternal Son, Jesus, to free us, his brothers and sisters, from the power of death. The giant of death was taunting us. Goading us into a fight that we would never win. We stood paralyzed in fear, hiding in our tents, trying on suits of armor that would never cover our shame and guilt. But then our hero arrived. The shepherd of our souls. The champion of our salvation. Jesus didn’t just come to bring us lunch. He stayed and fought the greatest battle the world has ever known. The battle against sin, death, and the Devil. The battle to deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
But here’s the plot twist: The only way the Goliath of death could ever be defeated is through the suffering and death of the champion. This better David would have to die in order to free his brothers and sisters, God’s family, from not only the fear of death, but the power of death. Jesus would have to transform death into life, by dying. And that is exactly what he did. By the grace of God, he tasted death for everyone, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.
Our better David, the Son of God, humbled himself and was made a little lower than the angels, he became human, for us.
Our better David partook of the same things as flesh and blood. He experienced everything a person experiences. He ate lunch with his brothers.
Our better David was made perfect (consecrated, set apart, like a priest) in our shared suffering. The champion of our salvation understands us.
Our better David faced the giant of death courageously, choosing to not only risk death, but to actually die in our place. No stones. No slingshot. Just a cross.
Our better David destroyed the power of death.
Our better David will never be ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters. He stands with us in the solidarity of suffering.
Our better David has set us free from the fear of death and dying. Like him, we too can pass through the portal of death into life everlasting.
Our better David has brought God’s many sons and daughters to glory. There’s nothing that stands in our way. The path is cleared The battlefield is empty. The giant is dead. And all that remains is “to live is Christ.”
Do you fear death? Why or why not?
You in Christ
How can you celebrate your champion, Jesus’ victory today?
Christ in you
Do you see yourself as David facing Goliath, or as the one needing a hero to face sin and death for you?
Playlist: Christ Our Champion