Biblical Healing: (2) Healing And The Atonement

In our “Introduction to Healing,” we asked if healing was in the atonement. Today, we want to explore that question. If Jesus paid for our healing in the atonement, then we have a legal right to it, and He has a legal right to perform it. It also means that it is God’s will for us to be healed and healthy.

We also discussed in the introduction where sickness and infirmity came from. For a quick review, we saw that it came with the curse of disobedience. Satan disobeyed God and became a cursed spiritual outlaw. When Adam disobeyed, he became spiritually tied to Satan and inherited Satan’s curse. God loved us and decided to bring back the human race into right standing with himself and restore the blessing. God did this for the whole humanity through the death, burial, and resurrection of His son, Jesus. When we accept Jesus as Lord, we become spiritually born again, and His right standing and blessing becomes ours.

I’m not implying that all infirmity is by a demonic spirit, it’s not. I’m saying when sin entered the human race, death entered. Sickness is incipient death. It’s in the earth. We don’t have to look for it. It’s the default because it’s of the curse. In fact, our bodies are in constant protection mode to fight off infections, viruses, and other infirmities. If there’s a way to spiritually add to my defenses, I want to know about it and how to operate the “weapons of our warefare.”

Matthew 8:17

“He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesess” (Matthew 8:17). Now, isn’t this interesting? Is it for us today? When Matthew wrote this, he was on this side of the cross. He was looking at this event in light of the atonement. Matthew said that Jesus “took [past tense] our infirmities and bore [past tense] our sickness.” If this event was only relegated to the people during Jesus’ earthly ministry, Matthew would have said something like, “He Himself took their infirmities and bore their sicknesses.”

Matthew is quoting from Isaiah chapter fifty-three: “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4). This certainly threw me when I first cross referenced Matthew 8:17. But I did my homework.

This word “grief” in Strong’s Concordance is: h2483. חֲלִי ḥălîy; from 2470; malady, anxiety, calamity: — disease, grief, (is) sick(-ness).

When we look up how this word is used throughout the Old Testament, we see it used almost exclusively as “sickness, illness, disease and malady.” I found it used as grief in Isaiah fifty-three twice and once in Jeremiah 6:7. (I didn’t do an exhaustive search, but by far “sickness” was the main translation.)

The word translated “sorrows” in Isaiah, according to Strong’s is: h4341. מַכְאֹב maḵ’ôḇ; sometimes מַכְאוֹב makçowb; also (feminine Isaiah 53:3) מַכְאֹבָה makobah; from 3510; anguish or (figuratively) affliction: — grief, pain, sorrow.

When following this word throughout the Old Testament, it seems to be translated mostly “sorrow.”

We could translate this verse as, “Surely He has borne our malady, anxiety, calamity, disease, grief and sickness and carried our grief, pain, and sorrow.”

Most importantly, the Holy Spirit connected this verse to Jesus bearing our “sicknesses” and carrying our “infirmities” as Jesus healed the multitude and cast out demons.

The fifty third chapter of Isaiah is a look at Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross. This is what He did for us. Jesus didn’t need healing; we did. Jesus didn’t need to be forgiven of sins; we did. Jesus didn’t need to be redeemed from the curse; we did.

Other Translations

Dr. Robert Young, author of Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible, also wrote a translation of the Bible: Literal Translation of the Bible. Here’s how he translated Isaiah fifty-three: “He is despised, and left of men, A man of pains, and acquainted with sickness, And as one hiding the face from us, He is despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains — he hath carried them, And we — we have esteemed him plagued, Smitten of God, and afflicted. And he is pierced for our transgressions, Bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement of our peace is on him, And by his bruise there is healing to us. All of us like sheep have wandered, Each to his own way we have turned, And Jehovah hath caused to meet on him, The punishment of us all . . . And Jehovah hath delighted to bruise him, He hath made him sick . . . with transgressors he was numbered, And he the sin of many hath borne, And for transgressors he intercedeth” (Isa. 53:3-6,10,12: emphasis mine).

A translation that is used by Orthodox Jews written by Isaac Leeser translates these verses as such: “He was despised and shunned by men: a man of pains, and acquainted with disease . . . But only our diseases did he bare himself, and our pains he carried . . . and through his bruises was healing granted to us . . . But the Lord was pleased to crush him through disease . . .” (Isa. 53:4,5,10; emphasis mine).

Healing in the Atonement

Did Jesus bare our griefs and carry our sorrows? Absolutely. And pain, sicknesses, and disease certainly brings about grief and sorrow. Still, the scriptures emphatically declare that Jesus took our sicknesses, diseases, and infirmities. When did He do this? When He made atonement for our sins and became a curse for us.

What Jesus did in the atonement belongs to us. The forgiveness of sin belongs to us. Did we deserve it? No! Redemption from the curse (Galatians 3:13-14) belongs to us. Did we deserve it? No! Healing belongs to us. Did we deserve it? No! Why is it we can believe that our sins are forgiven, and receive this atonement blessing by faith, but we have trouble believing the atonement covered our sicknesses and provided healing, and receive this atonement blessing by faith?

It seems to me, we have trouble receiving from God. Why? How do we recieve? Hmmm. I think we need to look into this question next.

Healing is in the atonement, and I want what Jesus provided. I believe that when we walk in light of what He’s done, it brings Him glory. I want to bring Him glory by learning to cooperate with Him and recieve what He’s provided.

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