The Devil is in the Detail

The writer to the Hebrews explains that Jesus died to “destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). What does that mean? The devil is in the detail if you look carefully.

In the biblical worldview, it is sin that has power over death;

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 6:23

Furthermore, the source of sin and temptation is from within;

“Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”

James 1:14-15

It is in each person’s heart, mind and consciousness to rebel. Humans have the ability to choose actions that are either morally good or morally evil. And humans therefore have the temptation from within to commit sin.

So backing up, what did Jesus destroy in his death? It was the thing that has the power over death, which is sin. Jesus destroyed it by never giving into his own temptations and responding to violent, envious men in humility and meekness whilst they cruelly crucified him. In this act, he destroyed sin, whilst the sin of mankind was exposed for what it truly is in the ugly actions of those intent on destroying him.

The one that has the power of death, the devil, is sin. The biblical worldview invites us to reflect on our own choices and decide whether we want to follow our natural urges and instincts which can so often lead to destructive behaviours, or whether we want to be guided by the principles of Jesus and his selfless life.