About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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Divine Healing


Isaiah 53:5 reads:


"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed."


Without a doubt I believe in divine healing of sick bodies.  I would have died years ago if not for Jesus healing me of Juvenile Diabetes at the age of six.  That being said, I ask you not to reject what you are about to read without giving it serious consideration.  It is what I have believed for years to be the correct understanding of Isaiah 53:5.


There has been an ongoing debate whether divine healing of sicknesses was part of the atonement, as seen in the cross of Christ.  I fall on the side that it was not included in the reasons why Jesus died, and thus, Isaiah 53:5 cannot be associated with divine healing of sick bodies.  Here are some reasons why I believe as I do.         


Reason 1


When we read the word "heal" in the Bible we tend to think it is referring to healing of sick bodies, but that is not always the case.  In the Old Testament, healing is more often than not associated with the healing, mending, or repairing of our sinfully sick souls than with sick bodies.  We must take this factual presupposition into consideration when interpreting  Isaiah 53:5.   


Reason 2


When studying Isaiah 53:5 we must determine how to understand the word "healed" in the context of the whole chapter, which is the healing of sick souls.  Isaiah 53:5 itself predicts Jesus being pierced, crushed, and punished, not because of our illnesses, but because of our transgressions and iniquities which makes peace with God possible.  To think that the word "healed" refers to sick bodies does not fit the context of the chapter or the verse in which it is found.


Reason 3


Whether it's our English word "heal" or its Hebrew or Greek equivalent, a Biblical search of these words tell me that they can refer to the healing of sick souls.  John 12:40, a direct quote from Isaiah 6:10, is one example of how the New Testament links healing with sinful souls.


"He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so that they would not see with their eyes or understand with their hearts, and turn, and I would heal them."


Reason 4


Peter quoted Isaiah 53:5, as seen in 1 Peter 2:24.  I have adopted his view of what the wounds of Jesus healed.      


"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed."


The context of 1 Peter 2:24 concerns Jesus being punished because of our sin, just as Isaiah 53:5 states.  Verse 24 specifically states that Jesus took our sins, not our sickness, upon Himself.  In this context Peter quoted Isaiah 53:5 when he wrote "by His wounds you have been healed."  I ask; "healed of what?"  I answer; "healed of our sinfully sick souls, not our sick bodies. 


These are just four reasons that lead to my view of Isaiah 53:5.  I would especially suggest that Peter, under divine inspiration, provides the correct understanding of Isaiah 53:5 that we should adopt.  In this respect, Scripture really does interpret Scripture.  By no means does this view of Isaiah 53:5 nullify the fact that Jesus can heal sick bodies, because He has, He does, and He will.  My point is that the atonement, the cross of Christ, addressed the healing of sick souls, not sick bodies.  I would, then, suggest that we use other Biblical passages to support the fact that divine healing of sick bodies is still relevant for our day. 

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