In the words of Donald Macleod:
But above all, Jesus must “taste” death” not simply die, but taste it (Heb 2:9). This is why he took a long time dying, and this is why he had to die unanesthetized. He had to walk, as his people do, through the valley of the shadow of death, tasting the fear of it and the encroachments of it and the power of it, and then yielding himself to it consciously and deliberately. His life did not ebb away, slowly and peacefully, ending with a pathetic death-rattle. Instead he shouts in triumph, “It is finished!”, and then dismisses his spirit into the loving hands of God his Father (Luke 23:46) [Christ Crucified, 35]
Today, on good Friday we remember that Jesus “tasted death” on our behalf and by doing that allowed us to participate in his triumph.
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