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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

JESUS DESTROYED THE BONDAGE OF DEATH

Hebrews 2:14-15 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

A very unique relationship exists between all mankind and Jesus. They are all one - all are human beings. Because of this common bond, Jesus is not ashamed to call them (and us today) brethren. Although Jesus, since His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension back into heaven, has returned to His immortal body, a strong bonding relationship still exists between Himself and mankind. In fulfilling the prophesy found in Psalm 22:22, Jesus did, indeed, declare God's name to His brethren, the Jewish nation, and through His inspired disciples, declared the name of God to all mankind thereafter (See preceding verses 11-12). In verse 13, the writer quotes portions of Psalm 18:2 and Isaiah 12:2 in order to declare Jesus' trust in His heavenly Father, as well as trust in His earthly brethren, who are also God's children.

To understand the lesson text, it is also necessary to fully comprehend the three verses that follow it. From the beginning of time it was not in God's plan for Jesus to remain immortal, as were the angels of heaven. He was destined by God to come to earth in human form, in order to become the Savior of mankind. He came from the seed of Abraham - the earthly Son of Mary, a descendent of Abraham. For the reason stated in the lesson text, it was necessary that Jesus become an earthly being - made like unto His brethren.

While on earth, Jesus became a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God. It was necessary for Him to experience the trials and tribulations of humanity in order to intercede for mankind. As our High Priest, Jesus made the final intercession for mankind, in order to reconcile the world to God. Only by suffering in death could Jesus sympathize with mankind, know their needs, and recommend salvation for those that were obedient to His will. Tempted as all mankind were, and continue to be today, He is our example that all temptation can be overcome, sins can be forgiven, reconciliation to God can be made, and eternal salvation will be the reward of the faithful.

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same. Those that, through obedience to the will of God, became His adopted children, are all human beings made of flesh and blood. Jesus, although divine, came to earth, became a brother to all mankind, and took on the same human mortality. From the beginning, this was God's plan of salvation. Beginning with the first chapter of John we read of Jesus referred to as the Word and the Light. The first verse reads: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Jesus, as part of the Godhead, participated in the creation of the world and all things relating to it.

Continuing the reference to the first chapter of John, we find that John, the baptizer, was sent by God to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe (Vs. 7). Jesus was born into the same world that He created at the beginning of time. In His human form, He became a brother to all mankind, but as the Savior, the majority of the world knew Him not, ...His own received Him not (Vss. 10-11). But to those few that did receive Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God (Vs. 12). It was for this cause that the Word (Jesus Christ) was made flesh, and dwelt among us (Vs. 14). To those in his audience, John the baptizer introduced Jesus with these words: Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (Vs. 29).

To make a way for sins to be remitted from repentant men and women of the world. was the eartly mission of Jesus. To accomplish this, it was necessary for Jesus to become the atoning sacrifice for sin, and in order to die, it was necessary for Jesus to temporarily give up his divine nature and take the form of a mortal body - to become flesh and blood, just as all other mortal beings of God's creation. All this He did in order that through death, He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. It was through the influential power of Satan that sin came into the world, and since the punishment for sin is death, it became necessary that all human beings must die.

With His sacrificial death, Jesus did, indeed, destroy, not death itself, but the power of death. With the sacrifice of Christ, death was defeated and its eternal nature was destroyed - death has no more dominion over mankind. The resurrection of Jesus conquered death, and, for mankind, eliminated the fear of death and its bondage. Death is banned from Heaven; there it is forever excluded. Therefore, we need to lay hold of the haven of rest, obey God's will, submit to the acts He requires to become a Christian, remain faithful, and continually seek forgiveness for all committed sins, through the Son of God, Jesus Christ who destroyed the bondage of death.