1 Peter 2:24 King James Version (KJV) 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
1 Peter 2:24
ESV - 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
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In the context in which Peter was writing, I would say that the healing to which he was referring had (and has) multiple meanings. First, is the healing from the eternal consequences of sin of those who place their faith in Him for salvation and eternal life. Jesus fully bore those consequences through His propitiatory suffering and death. Also, there has been (and is) psychological healing for Christians throughout the ages in their own suffering for the faith, through knowing that Jesus underwent the same trials that they are experiencing (and also provided an example of doing so without sin, as noted by Peter in the verse preceding the verse cited in the question). Additionally, Christians are healed by the fact that the salvation obtained by Christ's sufferings allows them to perform good works out of gratitude to God for their salvation that have merit in God's eyes, and for which they will be eternally rewarded, rather than those works (even if they were done with "righteous" intent) being (as they were in the individuals' pre-salvation state) "as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6) in God's eyes. Christians are also healed from an endless cycle of back-and-forth retribution against those who wrong them, by forgiving others in the same way that God has forgiven them for Christ's sake, and as Christ Himself prayed for the forgiveness of those who participated in His death (Luke 23:34).
The healing Peter mentioned in 1 Peter 2:24 (24 "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed") is not our physical healing, but rather the spiritual healing of our souls (Ps. 103:3). --3 "Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;" One day, when we have glorified bodies, all sicknesses will be gone, but meanwhile, even some of God’s choicest servants may have physical afflictions (see Phil. 2:25–30, see below; 2 Cor. 12:1ff.). And sometimes God sends sickness to discipline us, members of His church (1 Corinthians 11:29–32--see below again). Paul left Trophimus behind during one of his missionary journeys because of illness (2 Timothy 4:20).--20 "Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick." He recommended wine to Timothy for his “stomach and [his] frequent ailments” (1 Timothy 5:23). Epaphroditus got so sick he nearly died (Philippians 2:25–27). --25 "Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labor, and fellow soldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. 26 For he longed after you all and was full of heaviness because that ye had heard that he had been sick. 27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow." And sometimes God sent sickness to discipline members of His church (1 Corinthians 11:29–32).-- 29 "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 30 For this cause, many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. " Neither Isaiah (Does Isaiah 53:5 promise Christians immediate, unblemished health for all Christians? No!) nor Peter intended physical healing as the result in these references to Christ’s sufferings. Physical healing for all who believe does result from Christ’s atoning work, but such healing awaits a future realization in the perfections of heaven. In resurrection glory, believers will experience no sickness, pain, suffering, or death (Revelation 21:1-4; 22:1-3).
The Holy Spirit is speaking through Peter and referencing Isaiah 53:5, which uses the same word 'stripes' or 'wounds' that appears earlier in a passage in Genesis 4:23. In this passage, Lamech the descendant of Cain arrogantly announces that he has also killed a young man for 'bruising' him as Cain had killed his brother Abel, only that his new standard of vengeance for any insult to his people is 'seventy-seven times.' Cain was originally granted 'seven fold vengeance' upon anyone attempting to kill any of his 'wandering' people, according to the command of GOD, (Genesis 4:15). GOD agreed to do this after Cain complained that the curse placed upon his tribe to 'restlessly wander without a fixed dwelling place' was unbearable and would result in his extermination. It is not a coincidence that the Holy Spirit uses this same term to describe how the 'wounds' of Christ now heal believers. When GOD looks upon us apart from Christ, He has no motive to step up in our defense and exact 'vengeance' for us. We deserve the punishments being inflicted upon our bodies. However, Christ did not. The 'insult' created by this act motivates GOD to bring vengeance upon evil whenever it moves against Christ. So when GOD sees 'Christ' resting upon any of us, His wrath is kindled. We are 'healed' when GOD steps in to stop evil from afflicting us. Based on this promise to Cain, He will also stop short of 'exterminating' evil men and will even severely punish those who attempt to do this. Evil has no place in our bodies, but we must address it as GOD does, causing it to choose to leave of its own accord. "Be subject therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." (James 4:7). The only reason GOD might not be motivated to 'heal' us whenever we are afflicted is because He does not see Christ there resting upon us. We are discovered in some broader attempt to 'exterminate' evil rather than honoring its right to exist and provide an alternative to GOD's path. This is what scripture calls being 'found naked,' (2 Corinthians 5:2-3). GOD hates evil, but He also loves 'liberty' which gives us the right to choose for ourselves to either follow Christ or pursue evil. GOD doesn't 'force' this decision upon anyone. The same goes for our bodies. When we try to 'exterminate' evil, we ourselves do not acknowledge Christ resting upon us. It may seem right to us, but it denies liberty to men and this kindles the wrath of GOD. Our physical body is described as a holy 'tabernacle' or 'tent of meeting' which has already been 'healed' by Christ and dwells in immortal incorruptibility in heaven, while the 'earthly' equivalent is nothing but an ongoing fiction resulting from a 'forgetfulness' or 'shortsightedness,' (2 Peter 1:9). We forget that humans are heart, soul, mind and body and that each must 'love' GOD fully. The 'body' is the last to learn the divine lessons and frequently does not learn them on this 'side' of life. Each of us will eventually learn them and ultimately be 'resurrected' into our heavenly tabernacle as required by the righteous retribution and judgment of GOD upon the evil attempting to subvert His justice. In simple terms, the 'stripes of Christ' heal us because they motivate GOD to act on our behalf against an evil that no longer has any right to damage, afflict or malign us in any way. Our 'earthly journey' is the process by which we fully realize this truth and experience it. Once fully learned, it cannot be forgotten or 'unlearned' and our mortal experience is swallowed up by a permanent, incorruptible and immortal one, (2 Corinthians 5:4).
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