The Taste of Death


But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.  Hebrews 2:9 (NIV)

Several times in my life I have had what I consider to be “close calls”. Many of us can relate to that feeling when the extraordinary happens and we suddenly fear for our safety or even our life. When a close call comes upon us and the realization of the severity of the event sinks in, it usually leaves an indelible imprint on our lives.

Mine have not been heroic like those who serve in the military or law enforcement where danger and tragic events are faced everyday. In all the close calls I have experienced the common thread was the feeling of losing control over my circumstances and the uncertainty of the future. Close calls are often expressed with the hyperbole “almost tasting death” to describe them. Those who survive them are said to be able to live to talk about it and often speak of God’s protection in those frightening moments.

As Hebrews 2:9 reveals, Jesus Christ not only tasted death Himself but tasted death on the behalf of all people. It was the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God (Acts 2:23) that Jesus would be crucified to accomplish what is impossible for man to accomplish on his own; bearing the weight of his own sin debt. Jesus Christ willingly took the full measure of man’s sin upon Himself paying the debt we owe (1 Peter 2:24) and destroying the power of death.

The full width and breath of that act is captured in Romans 5:7-8  “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” In that demonstration of love Jesus Christ, Himself, is the embodiment of God’s grace made available to everyone.

The grace God freely offers to all people is without consideration of our deeds whether righteous or sinful. Therein, God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,  who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,.. (1 Timothy 2:4-6). It is an offer God extends to all who will believe and receive Jesus Christ by faith.

Many may ask “Why would God sacrifice His own Son and Jesus be willing go to the cross for men and women who are mired in sin?”. It is because the riches of His grace have been lavished on us in Christ who for the very joy that was set before Him, endured the cross scorning the shame (Hebrews 12:2) knowing in the end He would bring many sons and daughters to glory (Hebrews 2:10-11).

God’s grace and love is manifested through Jesus Christ and is available for all who call upon Him in faith. It is that faith in Him that takes away the uncertainty of both today and our eternity. How can we not trust the One who freely tasted death for us all?