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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I agree with Michael on his interpretation of Isaiah 53:5. I will add some few observations on my answer to firm up the position. My view is that it was spiritual healing that Christ primarily accomplished for us at the cross. If indeed the dimension of Christ's atonement contemplated in Scripture was physical healing, how come believers do not enjoy permanent physical health on earth? Why are we not free from earthly perils? I have heard some prosperity teachers claim that believers are not to suffer any form of physical infirmity because Christ took it away at Calvary. They also teach that every illness or infirmity must be healed because Christ took it away on the cross. This, in my view, is an open misrepresentation of Biblical truth! While I do not deny the power of God in healing diseases, I am not persuaded by the view that believers are totally shielded from disease or infirmity or any other earthly perils. Granted that God can and often does heal all manner of illnesses, including the most dreaded of all, His primary focus on Calvary was, in my view, spiritual restoration of sinners to God. We live in a fallen world and there are perils that we have to contend with while under the sun. Only until we appear before Christ shall we be freed from pain and affliction. To enjoy the kind of health contemplated under the prosperity gospel, we must first be taken away from this world! My view is that believers will suffer on earth, not just from disease but other physical pains. Besides, Christian sufferings including illnesses are part of the afflictions that God uses to strengthen our faith (cf. James 1:2-4). Jesus Himself taught that those who will follow Him in obedience must be prepared to carry the cross. The pains of the cross are primarily persecutions for our faith but we do know from Paul's experience in 2 Corinthians12 that God can use some unpleasant circumstances to accomplish His divine purposes for us. Philippians 2:1-10 illustrates the suffering that Christ experienced in His obedience and the exaltation that God accomplished for Him by reason of His suffering. Last week we buried my cousin's wife who died at 62 after a long illness bravely borne. She was a great hero of faith who lived for Christ till her last moment. I guess a prosperity Bible teacher may be quick to claim that Satan took her life prematurely. I believe God chose to rest her from the pain after prolonged suffering, all to His glory. God must have permitted this suffering on His servant for His divine purposes in line with the teaching of Psalm 34:19; Romans 8:31-39. To teach otherwise would imply that God abdicated the divine protection over His children. Psalm 23:4 reveals that God watches over His saints even in the most dangerous terrains of life. Nothing catches Him by surprise! My view is that God may permit on believers one or other form of suffering including physical illness, all for reasons for which He owes us no explanation. He is the sovereign God who makes no mistakes. Even as we pray for healing, we ought to reckon that God has the final word on our healing or physical wellbeing. Even if He chose to use illness or infirmity as a means of ushering us into the next life, we should always glorify Him in that His perfect will for us should be accomplished and that our faith is securely anchored in Him. This is the biblical truth that many have departed from in their pursuit of the popular but cheap modern gospel of health and wealth (cf. 2 Timothy 3:1-9).
It is clear from the Isaiah 53 passage that healing does include both spiritual and physical healing. I believe that both are in the atonement. HOWEVER, as salvation (spiritual healing) is a process (past, present and future) so is physical healing. All believers will ultimately experience total freedom (healing) from our fallen physical bodies and their propensity to be "sick", when we are resurrected at the rapture. PRAISE GOD. But until then we will have to wait patiently and sometimes in great pain, until the comping of Christ.
The physical punishment that Jesus Christ took for all humanity on the cross (His 'stripes') certainly made salvation possible for all who will believe (1 Cor 15:1-4), but what happened at the cross also serves as the remedy for those who suffer anguish from their past sinful lives. God's love for us is so great that not only was His blood shed for the forgiveness of our sins, but to also give us the power to forgive ourselves. We no longer must bear the burdens of our past. We look back to the cross and realize that the punishment that we deserve was completed through Jesus Christ's shed blood (Gal 2:20). We were punished, died, and rose with Jesus Christ upon having this faith in Him (Col 2:12). The pain induced from the realization of the sinners past sinful lives would become excruciating without Jesus Christ. Things that seemed even innocent on the surface at one time may now be seen as not so edifying (1 Cor 6:12, 1 Cor 10:23). How does one take on the guilt of this realization over time? Some may turn to drugs, alcohol, or other forms of addiction to mask the pain, but the pain has already been overcome by Jesus Christ for us! We can now forgive ourselves knowing that God has already forgiven us. There is then no need to 'wipe out the pain' of our past sinful lives, as the pain has been healed through Christ's shed blood. Belief in this is how we forgive ourselves and become the ambassadors for Jesus Christ that God wants us to be. How can we share this 'good news' with others and God's love for all if we still have yet to forgive and love ourselves? We are ALL sinners and have ALL fallen short (Rom 3:10, Rom 5:12), but we have ALL been offered the free gift of salvation and healing from the pain of our sins through faith in Jesus Christ and the blood that He shed on our behalf! Rom 5:8 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
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