Cred: do you know what that means?
Cred is a street word that is short for "credentials". If you have "cred" then you have the authority necessary to accomplish something or to demand respect.
This reminds me of my late 20s and early 30s, when my childless self would judge the parenting of my siblings and others who were navigating the shark-infested waters of parenting. Some of those were not shy about telling me how, as a childless person, I lacked "cred" to advise them. Later, when I became a parent, I realized that they were 1000% right!
In her "Entrusted" Bible study this morning, week's 4's video portion, Beth was giving part of her personal testimony. A key point she made is that God has formed her into the influential, dynamic Bible teacher she is today in part because of what He brought her through in her past. Because she endured and through the power of the Holy Spirit triumphed over horrific events in which she had no control, she now has cred to help others going through similar trials.
Hebrews 2:14 and 15 (ESV) - - -
14Since 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, 15and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
Aren't there just some things in the Bible that you have to say to yourself, "I don't get it. I'll never get it. And, by the grace of God, that's okay."?
The first part of verse 14 is like that for me. There is nothing more inscrutable or past my understanding that the doctrine of the Incarnation. To think that Jesus-God experienced the fullness of human existence....that just blows my mind. He shared in our flesh and blood. He shared in our physical death.
Because God the Father willed it, Jesus endured it. For whatever the reason, Father demanded that His Son "have cred" with the human experience.
This passage of scripture makes it clear that, if Jesus had not shared in our flesh and blood, even to the point of physical death, He would not have been able to destroy the stronghold Satan holds over the planet Earth. Jesus would not have been able to deliver us from Satan's clutches, had He not lived as a man, died as a man and risen bodily from the dead (again, as a man).
Those of us who are in Jesus Christ, those whose hearts beat for Him, have no need to fear when our physical death approaches. The opposite of such supernatural peace is a crippling fear that enslaves...often for a lifetime.
People do not have to live this way, immobilized by fear, "zombie-fied" by the fear of death. Jesus did what He did to set us free from eternal, spiritual death, but not only from that! He also did what He did to free us from the FEAR of it, as we live this life He also lived!
One of my favorite songs, and one we are going to sing this Sunday at the very first service of a brand-new church, is called "In Christ Alone". Its lyrics boldly proclaim the truths we've been studying today. Give a look and a listen.
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand
In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
'Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand
KOCH, DONALD A. / CRAIG, ANDREW SHAWN
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group