"Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment, he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand"(Isaiah 53.4-10, NIV). This Old Testament Passage clearly points out that healing is in the atonement. Jesus sacrificial death on the cross purchases our pardon from sin. Jesus took our sins upon himself freeing us from the wrath of God.
God views sickness as something evil. For this reason, God and empowered Jesus with His authority and power to deliver people from Satan’s evil influence and power to inflict people with sicknesses and diseases. This was Satan’s tactic against Job, as an attempt to destroy Job’s relationship with God. This is Satan’s primary goal. Satan afflicted Job with a life-threating illness. He killed Job’s children, including all his animals and live stocks, making his life a living hell. Satan has not changed. Satan still uses sickness to afflict people, as an attempt to frustrate the redemptive work of God. Satan will use every evil devise at his disposal to distort the image of God in His creation. He will do anything to turn people away from God’s love and grace, as he tried to do to Job, but failed. If we stand in our faith toward God, we too will triumph as Job did.
God sent Jesus, His Son to defeat the work of Satan. The prophet Isaiah clearly describes the mission of God’s suffering servant. He mission was to redeem God’s fallen humanity/creation. Jesus’ death on the cross was to atone for human sin (Isaiah 53). For this reason, salvation cannot be narrowly defined. Salvation includes deliverance; healing, health, wholeness, and restoration (See Isaiah 61). Jesus was God’s perfect sacrifice. His redemptive death on the cross atoned for the sins of the world. God put our sins and brokenness on him which were nailed to the cross. Isaiah said it this way: “Yet it was our grief he bore, our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, for his own sins! 5 But he was wounded and bruised for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace; he was lashed—and we were healed!” (Isaiah 53:4-5.)
The atonement reveals an important biblical truth that is often overlooked. God has a “vision” for human wholeness. God’s redemptive plan reminds us that God desires that every person experiences wholeness in every dimension of life: spirit, body, mind (emotions), and relationships. Isaiah said that the suffering servant of God took not only our sins in his own body, but he also too our sicknesses and diseases, “…by his stripes we are healed.” All of the miracles of healing that were recorded in the Bible and those throughout every generation who have experienced God’s healing power, are living proof of that fact. Salvation and healing are the two sides of the same coin.
Because of the atonement, we don’t need to end our prayers for healing by attaching the phrase, “If it be thy will.” The fact that healing is in the atonement tells us that healing is God’s will. The resurrected Christ still heals through his body, the church. We know that the Holy Spirit has gifted the church with gifts of healing, which also tells us that healing is God’s will. We are to leave to God’s will, how healing happens, when healing happens, and to whom healing happens. God is the cure-giver and we are the care-givers.
God is the healer, whether healing comes by means of healing prayer, through the sacraments of anointing with oil and the laying on of hands, by means of the faith factor, or by medical and scientific means. We don’t have to pick the method of how we are healed, because healing is in the atonement. God uses all means of grace to make us whole. Healing is a part of God’s redemptive work, and we are healed by the stripes of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross.
Jesus embraced his role of healer-redeemer. He fully understood that his mission as Israel’s Messiah and the savior of the world. God anointed Jesus with power from on high to rescue all who were oppressed of the devil (Acts 10:38). The Holy Spirit makes real the continuous presence and power of the resurrected Christ, in the life and ministry of the church. The Holy Spirit empowers the church with charismata, gifts to continue Jesus’ threefold ministry of teaching, preaching, and healing in the church and world.
Someone has said, “Teaching explains the gospel, preaching proclaims the gospel, but healing makes real the gospel.” Healing is a sign that God’s kingdom has broken into human history. Healing is a sign that God’s good creation is being restored.
Finally, salvation is ultimate healing. Jesus atoning death restored God’s good creation—God’s shalom—peace, health, wholeness, and salvation. Jesus conferred his power and authority upon the church to heal, as he had done—to heal all who are oppressed of the devil. Whether we are healed on this side of the grave, or in the resurrection, healing will ultimately come. All who put their trust in God’s salvation will be eternally healed in the resurrection. Jesus’ death on the cross, his resurrection, and ascension to heaven, defeated the power of sin, sickness, and death. Why? Healing is in the atonement—God’s redemptive grace.
My new book, Miracles of Healing in the Gospel of Mark is now available through the Faith Writers Book store, Amazon.com, and through our ministry website below: JohnAndGloriaPennMinistry.com/. Go to my website and check out my other books and articles on healing. My wife, Gloria has written a powerful book, entitled, Miracles Still Happen. It is available on our website, Amazon, kindle, nook, and Xulon.com.
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