Jesus came to set men and women free from a yoke of bondage. Paul says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Ephesians 5:1. Several passages of scripture indicate a yoke of bondage having been placed on people that was hard to bear. Read Matthew 23:1-4; Acts 15:10; Galatians2:4; and 2 Peter 2:19. However, the yoke of bondage was not God’s moral law.
1. Which of the Ten Commandments could be obliterated?
a. Certainly not the first for this would give sanction to polytheism and the blood of Christ could not save men if they believed in many gods.
b. This is also true with regards to the second commandment. People who bow down to images need the gospel and the blood of Christ.
c. Jesus spoke of the binding obligations of the third commandment. Read Matthew 5:34 and James5:12.
d. To do away with the fourth commandment would be to take away one of the greatest blessings of God to man. Jesus kept the Sabbath. Read Luke 4:16; Mark 2:27. The Sabbath is as perpetual as eternity. Read Isaiah 66:22, 23.
e. The fifth commandment is the basis of all family relationships. This was the first commandment with promise. Read Ephesians 6:1, 2.
f. Jesus exalted the binding claims of the sixth commandment. Read Matthew 5:21, 22. Compare 1 John 3:15.
g. The last four could not be cast aside. Each is essential and the more closely we observe these commands through the power of Christ the more, peace, joy, happiness,love, and power we will have. Read Psalm 119:97, 165.
h. God’s law is not the yoke of bondage. It is called the law of liberty. Read James 1:25.
2. Which of the ceremonial laws was a bondage?
a. The Passover was a prophecy of the Messiah. Read 1 Corinthians 5:7
b. The Feast of Pentecost was symbolic of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which came fifty days after the presentation of the wave sheaf offering. Read Leviticus 23:16-19.Compare Acts 2:1-4.
c. The Feast of Tabernacles was a forcible teaching concerning Christ’s final work of redemption.
d. The Day of Atonement was a reminder of Christ’s atonement. Read Hebrews 9:12-14.
e. Circumcision was a sign of an everlasting covenant between God and Abraham and his posterity. Read Genesis 17:9-14; 1 Corinthians 7:19. It contained a lesson for God’s people. Read Deuteronomy 10:16; 30:6.
f. All these festivals and circumcision were done away with at the cross. Read Colossians 2:14.
NOTE: The New Testament views the ceremonial laws (for which the rite of circumcision is sometimes used to represent the whole system) as “a yoke….which neither our fathers nor we able to bear” (Acts 15:1,5, 10); a “middle wall of partition” of “enmity” which separated Jew and Gentile (Ephesians 2:14, 15), “contrary to us”(Colossians 2:14). Since the ritual taught the gospel (Hebrews 4:1,2) in types and was given to man from Adam onward and enlarged in the sanctuary, why does the New Testament view it with such disfavour?There are two reasons: (1) The Jews turned the rituals into a works-salvation system. This made it a bondage (note Peter and Paul’s arguments – Acts 15:9-11; Galatians 2:16; 5:4-6). (2) The Jews perverted the ritual system by adding numerous rabbinical teachings and requirements. Read Mark 7:1-13.
3. How did Jesus regard the ten commandment law?
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:10.Read Matthew 22:36-40. Psalm 40:8 was a prophecy of Christ.
NOTE: The moral law is permanent, being rooted in the relationships between the Creator and His creatures. Ritual laws, being typical by nature,would have passed away when their function had been met.
When Christ was here men were in bondage to man-made laws. Jesus said,“Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.” Luke 11:46. He further said, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” Matthew 23:2-4. Jesus taught obedience to God’s will. Read Matthew7:21-27.