Key Verses – 11, 14-15
11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
14-15 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Verse eleven says that both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are one. Sanctification is the act of making us holy. Vine’s Expository Dictionary says it this way: “to make a person or thing the opposite of ‘common’.” Jesus is the One who sanctifies us, or sets us apart for God. He changes us from being common, like a wooden bowl, into a fine instrument made of gold.
Even though the process of sanctification is still underway, we don’t have to wait until it is done to be considered one with Christ. “Both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are of one.” We might not always feel holy but as far as God is concerned, if our faith is in Christ alone, then we are one with Him right now.
The passage goes on to say, “for this reason, He is not ashamed to call us brethren.” Too many times, I’ve heard people express the thought that God is disappointed in them for some reason. We assume this because we are disappointed in ourselves. Dear friend, God is not ashamed of you. Shame is a tool of the enemy to get our eyes on ourselves and our actions rather than on Jesus and His perfect, finished work. Don’t focus on your failures. If Jesus is not ashamed of you, then neither is the Father.
When we don’t understand this truth, fear takes root. Living in expectation of God’s judgement or lacking certainty of His favor creates an environment of fear. Is God mad? Am I being judged? What do I need to do to make Him happy with me? Being in bondage to fear is awful.
Ultimately, the greatest fear for many is death. It makes sense to fear lack because at its end, enough lack leads to death. It makes sense to fear sickness that can kill the body. But the grace message tells us that Jesus destroyed the devil who had power over death! And why did He do this? Expressly to free those who live in bondage because of this ultimate fear.
Jesus came as a man to experience what we experience, to suffer the temptation that we suffer and finally, to experience the death that we so fear. Then God raised Him from the dead to deliver a knock-out blow to the one who had the power of death and deliver us into freedom! Brave grace, and be free!