I’ve recently been re-reading Christ the Healer by F. F. Bosworth (the second time through in the last three months). An excellent book on healing. Bosworth continuously raises the question, is physical healing part of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross? His conclusion is, yes, Christ died to redeem us physically as well as spiritually. We can experience healing from sickness and disease as well as forgiveness of sin.
Since putting into practice some of the principles he describes, a painful knee condition I’ve been dealing with for several months has just about disappeared. (You may say, “Well it would have gotten better anyway!” but it was noticeable how often when I chose to believe God’s word, the pain went away.)
So I’ve been exploring around the topic.
One of the chief passages about what Jesus accomplished through his finished work on the cross comes in Isaiah 53.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed. (vv 3-5 NASB)
The words, griefs and sorrows, which come twice here, are the Hebrew words choli and yagon. According to Strong’s Hebrew Concordance, choli is translated as “grief” three times, but words like “disease,” “illness” and “sickness” twenty-two times. Yagon is translated as “sorrow” four times, but words like “pain” twelve times.
So it seems that “A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief might be equally well (or better) translated, “A man of pain and acquainted with sickness,” and “Surely our griefs he bore and our sorrows he carried,” as “Surely our sickness he bore and our pain he carried.”
That’s how Matthew interpreted it too.
When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.” (Matthew 8:16-17)
Makes you think!
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5 replies on “Freedom from sin and sickness?”
Good Word Felicity! And to think Jesus did this for all, including me.
Felicity, I have believed this ever since I was born again at the age of 13, despite the cynicism of many other Christians at the churches and even the Bible College I attended. And God has proved this countless times in my life.
Some examples: He has instantly healed a Colles fracture in my wrist (I have the before and after Xrays) that I was told would not heal without an operation. I was rushed by ambulance to hospital with such severe asthma that my husband was told to be prepared that I probably would’t make it. On the way, before I became unconscious, God assured me that I would recover because He had a plan for my life. Two weeks later I was discharged, completely healed.
Then in October 2012 I was was taken to hospital with rapid AF (initially diagnosed as VF by ambulance staff) with a completely irregular pulse of 180. No medication would bring it down, and I was told if nothing had happened by the next morning, they would have to perform electrical cardioversion – in other words, ‘stop start’ my heart. I said, “No, it will be all right by morning.
At around midnight a male nurse I knew (a former missionary in Mozambique) turned up out of the blue, looked at my chart, and said, “I’m going to pray for you Ann!” (A bold thing to do in front of his fellow nursing staff!) He then prayed, “Lord, give Ann a new heart!”
In the morning they did another ECG – the fourth since admission – and, with ED staff standing around watching, there on the screen was a completely normal sinus rhythm. There were cheers. I told the Cardiologist, “I told you I’d be all right. God healed me!” That was on 17th October 2012, and despite heavy workouts and other types of physical exertion, it has never changed. These are just three of the many healings God has performed in my life. Nothing will change my believe that He is my Healer just as surely as He is my Creator.
Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say wonderful blog!