It’s a crazy idea: how could dying break the power of death?
But that’s just what happened with Jesus. Think of it like this:
- People are flesh and blood, and will all die (eventually).
- Jesus came as a person made of flesh and blood.
- Jesus’ body died.
This brings us to the next step: death lost, Jesus didn’t stay dead, and anyone who believes in Jesus could also avoid the same (spiritual) death.
The author of Hebrews said it much more eloquently, of course:
Hebrews 2:14-15 Because God’s children are human beings, made of flesh and blood, the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.
Death was, for Jesus, a temporary thing.
Indeed, Jesus had so much power over death He brought people’s physical bodies back to life—widows’ sons, little girls, Lazarus—well before He died on the cross.
And when it came to dying, Jesus knew his own death couldn’t last. He knew He had power over death already. He knew He would come back with a new body, albeit with holes for the sake of Thomas and others, but it would be a new body that could go straight to heaven a few weeks later.
Jesus’ death wasn’t about the physical death that waits for us all. It was about destroying the spiritual death, of being separated from God, that comes through sin.