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Hebrews 2:14-18 Set free from the fear of death

From the ancient Roman Empire to terrorists and tyrants today, the “ultimate” human threat is, “I will kill you.” That threat leads people to break promises, expend vast resources and behave in ways they would never consider without it. Roman historians, however, puzzled over how little effect it seemed to have on the followers of Jesus. They could not grasp that Jesus, who died and rose again, set us free from all fear—even the fear of death.

  • Jesus faced evil and death at their very worst. If you doubt that, read about his arrest, trial and crucifixion in any of the four gospels. Jesus defeated evil and death at their very worst—go on to read the Easter story in any of the four gospels. Early Christians, like the first readers of Hebrews, staked their lives on the truth of Jesus’ victory over evil and death. In what ways does fear of death subtly shape your life choices? How can Jesus’ death and resurrection set you free from that fear?
  • Professor Bryan Stone wrote that too many of us believe a story that says, “Because the world is founded on violence, it can be saved only through violence. Christians … have a rival story—one that claims the world is founded on peace and can be saved from its violence only by peace.” Pastor Hamilton often reminds us that Easter is “our defining story.” In what ways has the story of Jesus defined your life? Are there assumptions you were taught about life that you want to rethink in the light of Jesus’ story?

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