Giver of Life and Health

MEMORY SELECTION: “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” —Matthew 8:17


ONE of the signs that was given in the prophecies whereby the children of Israel could recognize the King of the promised kingdom (the Messiah) was that he would have the wonderful God-given power to heal the sick and even raise the dead (Isa. 42:1-7) The common thought of the Jews at Jesus’ first advent was that the Messiah would have these powers, but that in addition he would come in power to set up his kingdom then. Jesus, while he performed many miracles, gave no evidence that he was making preparations to establish his kingdom at that time. This was one of the reasons why Jesus was not accepted as the Messiah by the Jews. Even John the Baptist, who was commissioned by God to announce Jesus as the Messiah, sent messengers to Jesus with this question, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?”—Matt. 11:3

While the messengers from John were present, Jesus cured many of the people of their infirmities and plagues and evil spirits, and “then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the Gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”—Luke 7:20-22

The signs were meant to identify Jesus as the Messiah and also to give an illustration of kingdom blessings when, in the Lord’s due time, the kingdom was established.

Overlooked by all were the prophecies which foretold that Christ must first suffer and then come into his glory. “Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”—Luke 24:25-27

One of these beautiful scriptures is Isaiah 53. In this prophecy the Lord foretells how Jesus would be rejected of men; that he would be a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, and that he would pour out his soul unto death and be numbered with the transgressors, and that he would bear the sins of many, and make intercession for the transgressors.

In other words, the mission of Jesus at his first advent was to suffer and die as the ransom for father Adam. And having redeemed Adam, he automatically redeemed all who were condemned in Adam, that is, the whole human race. “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”—Rom. 5:18

Having taken Adam’s place in death, Jesus was raised from death and exalted to the divine nature, placed at the right hand of God, given all power in heaven and earth, but instructed to wait until God had made his enemies his footstool.—Heb. 5:7-9, Diaglott; Matt. 28:18; Ps. 110

The waiting had to do with the establishment of the kingdom, and for approximately 2,000 years the kingdom has been held in abeyance, waiting for the enemies of the kingdom to be destroyed. Going on concurrently has been the great work of taking out from the Jews and Gentiles “a people for his name,” the bride of Christ.—Acts 15:14-18

When this dual work is completed then will be the due time for the establishment of the kingdom—the long-awaited time when Jesus Christ and his church will be the Mediator of the New Covenant and the Giver of life and health to all who will obey. The Revelator speaks glowingly of this time. “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”—Rev. 21:3-5

Dawn Bible Students Association
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